Auto Accident Injury in Tampa, FL
Have you suffered an injury due to a car accident in Tampa? If so, your life may never be the same again. Injuries from a car accident can interfere with your ability both to work and to enjoy everyday activities. They can also be incredibly painful. As such, you need an auto accident attorney who understands the laws in and around Tampa, FL that will fight for your legal rights and help you receive the financial compensation you deserve.
Auto Accident Injury Statistics in Tampa, Florida
According to the National Safety Council, in 2019 about 4.4 million people suffered serious injuries in motor vehicle accidents and an estimated 38,000 were killed. Due to its geography, increasing population, and thriving tourism industry, the state of Florida presents some of the most concerning crash statistics in the nation. The state suffered over 150,000 injury crashes in 2018, causing over a quarter-million injuries. More than 6,500 involved bicyclists, resulting in the deaths of 160 people.
Out of the total number of crashes, over 100,000 were deemed hit-and-run which resulted in over 20,000 injuries and over 200 fatalities. The “Arrive Alive” traffic safety initiative is a state-wide, data-driven approach implemented to focus law enforcement presence, education, and engineering efforts on fatal and serious bodily injury “hot spots” in an effort to reduce the damage caused by traffic crashes.
What to Do After an Auto Accident
It’s important to be prepared in the event you are a victim of a car accident. Below are the steps to remember immediately after your crash.
Receive Immediate Medical Attention
What is the most important step that you need to take after an auto accident? You need to receive immediate and proper medical treatment. You may believe that the injuries sustained after an auto accident are minor. Proper medical treatment helps ensure that you have not sustained any internal injuries that you may not be aware of.
File a Police Report
Even if no one sustained injuries, you still need to call 911 and request law enforcement assistance. When officers arrive, jot down each one’s name and badge number. Answer their questions honestly, but don’t volunteer any unasked for information, especially your thoughts on exactly what happened or who caused the car accident. Be sure to ask the officers for the number of their police report. Also ask when and where you can get a copy of it, including how much it will cost you.
At the scene of an accident involving death or injury, hit-and-run, driving under the influence, severely damaged vehicles and/or property, and commercial vehicles, an investigating officer will conduct a Florida Traffic Crash Report, Long Form. In less severe instances, you may be able to self-report a crash in lieu of an officer report. Pursuant to section 321.23, Florida Statutes, reports are available online for $10. Submitted reports may take up to 10 days to become available for order. They are also available by mail from the Florida Highway Patrol station closest to the crash site for $2. Due to changing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, check with the Tampa Police Department about walk-in customer policy.
Gather the Appropriate Documentation
While waiting for officers to arrive after a car accident, collect information from all other drivers involved in the accident, including the following:
- Full name, address, phone number and email address
- Driver’s license state and number
- Auto insurance company name, policy number and phone number
Use your cell phone to take pictures of each driver’s license, auto insurance card, your vehicle and each additional vehicle involved in the car accident. Don’t rely on verbal communication. Having as much information as possible will only help you and your case later on. Try to keep this exchange as civil and friendly as possible. However, do not apologize for causing the accident or indicate in any way that you think you may have caused it.
Recovering Damages After an Auto Accident Injury
After surviving a car accident, the emotional and economic toll it takes can be staggering. You are not only dealing with the mental anguish that comes with being involved in a crash, but you may also be experiencing severe physical harm as well.
Common injuries associated with motor vehicle accidents include:
- Burn injuries
- Back and neck injuries, such as whiplash
- Brain and head injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a 4.4 billion total cost resulting from traffic crash deaths in 2018. Over 20% ($900 million) of this cost involved motorcyclists. Overall medical costs came out to $46 million. Over 20,000 crashes resulted in injury and 15,500 crashes resulted in property damage in Hillsborough county in 2018.
Hiring a car accident lawyer ensures you have the financial ability to cover any losses that have occurred as a result of a crash. An auto accident attorney will also help you handle the paperwork that you will have to complete from insurance companies. This boosts your odds of receiving the insurance compensation you deserve.
Auto Accident Laws in Florida
Liability Laws for Tampa
When car accidents happen, it is essential to determine who bears responsibility for the resulting damage and medical bills. Determining fault impacts everything from your insurance claim and level of liability to the amount of confusion you may endure during the claims process. Due to Florida’s “no-fault” laws, you are required to file a claim with your personal insurance company after an accident, regardless of who was at fault. According to the state’s comparative negligence system, detailed in Florida Statute 768.81, each party is liable to pay damages proportional to their percentage of fault.
Statute of Limitations in Tampa
Each state has its own tort laws that determine the statute of limitations on a claim. In some states, this gives you just one year to file a claim in court, while some others may give you up to six years. In the state of Florida, you usually have four years from the date of a traffic crash to file a claim. This is why it is important to consult with an attorney immediately after your car crash. Don’t wait and risk losing out on any compensation they can recover.
Work With an Experienced Auto Accident Lawyer Near Tampa, FL
After a car accident, you have enough to worry about. We can help you find an auto accident attorney for your unique case. Get the financial restitution that you deserve if you’re the victim of someone else’s conduct. We can even help you connect with legal help across Florida state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an attorney in your area!