In America, we like to think we can rely on the fact that rules and regulations are followed, and any violations are punished. We could discuss the importance and relevance of some of these rules, of course. However, traffic rules, in particular, belong among the most basic ones, and they are here to directly protect our lives. Traffic regulations affect everybody since they apply to you once you leave your house, even just as a pedestrian. When a driver fails to comply with the traffic rules by failing to obey traffic signals, for example, it can lead to a serious accident with many injuries and a lot of damage.
Every road user relies on traffic rules. So, when you are at an intersection and have a green light, you expect that you can go and that drivers from other directions will wait for their green light. Therefore, you might not expect another driver to come from a direction with a red light. Everybody should adapt their driving to the situation, of course, but the traffic system is designed in a way so that you should be able to rely on certain things. And it is important that you can rely on them because it saves lives. That is why it is so important to punish any violation in order to keep our roads as safe and reliable as possible.
Have you been involved in an accident even though you didn’t violate any traffic rules? Then you should be compensated for it. However, even if you are on the correct side of the law, it might sometimes be hard to enforce your rights. That is why we recommend you find reliable legal representation. At The Law Place, we hire skilled car accident attorneys who have a lot of experience with personal injury claims, so they will know how to help you. Contact us today and schedule a free consultation with an experienced accident lawyer. Our phone number is (941) 444-4444, and we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Right of Way in Bradenton, Florida
In Florida, traffic rules are governed by the Florida Uniform Traffic Control Law. The obligation to yield the right of way at traffic lights is one of the most basic regulations and also one of the most dangerous ones to violate. Below we list other common situations where every driver has to grant the right of way:
The Right of Way At Stop or Yield Intersections, According to Florida Statute 316.123
- Every driver is obliged to obey the stop or the yield sign at an intersection unless there is a police officer or a control signal indicating otherwise. After stopping, the driver must grant the right of way to other vehicles at the intersection.
- At a four-way stop intersection, the driver who first stopped is the first to proceed through the intersection. If two or more vehicles approach the intersection at the same time, the driver on the right has the right of way.
- Every driver must reasonably reduce their speed when approaching a yield sign so that they are able to stop if required.
Other Common Situations Where Drivers Are Obliged to Yield the Right of Way
- Drivers have the duty to yield to a public transit vehicle in their direction when it is signaling that it is about to re-enter traffic.
- Every driver is obliged to grant the right of way to the oncoming traffic when turning left.
- Drivers are required to yield to vehicles approaching in their direction when joining a highway, main road, or a roundabout.
- Every driver is obliged to yield to an emergency vehicle.
Interactions Between Drivers and Pedestrians, According to Florida Statute 316.130
- All drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians who are lawfully crossing the road.
- Pedestrians must obey pedestrian traffic signals and laws.
- If possible, pedestrians should walk on sidewalks. If there are no sidewalks, they should walk on the left edge of the road facing the traffic oncoming from the opposite direction.
- If a driver stops to allow the pedestrians to cross the road, other vehicles must not overtake them.
Why Drivers Fail to Obey Traffic Signals in Bradenton, Florida
Failure to obey traffic signals is usually caused by either distracted or reckless driving. A driver might be distracted from their driving by their electronic device (usually a mobile phone, but it can also be a GPS), eating or drinking, or talking to other passengers. Therefore, they may overlook a red light and cause a car accident. However, distracted driving can also lead to other dangerous types of behavior, such as speeding or driving too slowly, swerving out of a lane, or failing to use the turn light.
Reckless driving is worse in the sense that the driver willingly chooses to ignore traffic laws. Recklessness usually comes when the driver is in a hurry or under a lot of stress. Apart from running a red light, they might be speeding, tailgating, or unpredictably changing lanes without using the turn light. This is a very dangerous behavior that can lead to serious car accidents too.
A specific reason for failing to obey traffic signals is driving under the influence. This is especially dangerous because the driver’s reaction time is much slower, and they tend to feel more courageous. According to Florida Statute 316.193, a driver is considered to be under the influence of alcohol when they have “a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood”. Interestingly, a study conducted by the Sleep Foundation suggests that drowsy drivers are equally dangerous.
Common Accidents Caused by a Failure to Obey Traffic Signals in Bradenton, Florida
When a driver fails to obey traffic signals, it can have serious consequences not only for them but also for other road users. This leads not only to car accidents but also to pedestrian or motorcycle collisions, causing a lot of injuries and damage. The most common types of accidents caused by failure to obey traffic signals include:
- Head-on collision – A head-on collision occurs when two vehicles hit each other’s front ends. This type of accident can occur, for example, when the driver fails to obey an alternating one-way traffic signal.
- Rear-end collision – A rear-end collision happens when a vehicle hits the one in front of it. The most common cause of this type of accident is when the driver does not keep a safe distance from other vehicles, i.e., tailgating.
- Side-on collision – A side-on collision refers to an accident where a vehicle is hit by another one from the side. This tends to happen at intersections where one driver fails to yield the right of way or obey a traffic signal.
- Pedestrian accident – A pedestrian accident occurs when a motor vehicle hits a pedestrian or causes another object to collide with them. This usually happens when the driver fails to let the pedestrian cross the street or when the pedestrian suddenly steps into the road outside of a crosswalk.
Common Injuries Sustained in Traffic Accidents in Bradenton, Florida
The severity of the injuries sustained in an auto accident depends on many factors, for example, on the speed of the vehicles, the direction of their movement, or the environment around the road. However, they tend to cause similar injuries. The most common injuries sustained in car accidents include:
But even if you sustained just a minor injury or damaged your car only a little, we encourage you to seek legal advice. You could be entitled to more compensation than you might think. So, call The Law Place today for a free case evaluation with a skilled personal injury attorney to find out more about your next steps.
Proving Liability for a Car Accident in Bradenton, Florida
Every road user owes a duty of care to other drivers. This means that all drivers on the road should take reasonable steps to prevent any accidents. So, if a driver fails to follow a traffic law or signal, they breached their duty of care, and they are therefore responsible for injuries or damage incurred in the accident.
If your auto accident was caused by negligence, in order for you to be able to file a personal injury claim, your accident lawyer will need to prove the following:
- The other driver owed you a duty of care.
- The other driver breached their duty of care.
- The breach directly resulted in you being injured.
- Your injuries resulted in damages.
In order to qualify for compensation, you must first demonstrate that the other driver breached their duty of care. However, it is difficult to prove this on your own. Therefore, we recommend you hire an experienced personal injury attorney. They will know what exactly needs to be done to increase your chances of winning a fair settlement.
Claiming Damages Following a Car Accident in Bradenton, Florida
If you qualify for compensation, a skilled personal injury attorney will be able to maximize the amount of funds that will be reimbursed to you. The most common compensation types include:
- Medical expenses – If you sustained injuries in the accident, your compensation could cover all your medical bills associated with it. This usually includes the cost of surgery, medication, and rehabilitation, but it can also include necessary traveling costs, etc.
- Lost wages – If your injuries did not allow you to go to work for a period of time and you received a lower or no salary as a consequence, you could be compensated for it.
- Property damage – You can seek compensation also for any valuable objects damaged in the accident. This relates to your car, mobile phone, laptop, etc.
- Pain and suffering – This compensation is designed to reflect the psychological impact that the accident had on you, i.e., to compensate you for your pain and suffering. This applies, for example, to the situation when your injuries prevent you from enjoying your hobbies.
- Wrongful death – If you lose a loved one in a car accident, you can be entitled to damages for funeral expenses, loss of family income, and loss of consortium.
We strongly recommend you find a reliable car accident attorney who will advise you what damages you are entitled to claim. Some of them, like pain and suffering, are quite abstract and very hard to prove. However, at The Law Place, we have already handled many cases similar to yours, so it will not be an obstacle for us. Schedule a free consultation with us and find out what we have to offer.
Dealing With Insurance Companies in Bradenton, Florida
According to Florida Statute 627.7407, you are first required to claim compensation from your own insurance company up to the limit of your policy. Only after you exceed your policy can you claim damages from the other party. This is known as the no-fault principle.
However, dealing with insurance companies can be difficult. They are, as any other business company, focused on profit. They might try and use some tricks to devalue your personal injury claim or increase your percentage of the fault so that they do not have to pay you full compensation. However, our experienced personal injury attorneys are used to dealing with insurance companies, so they cannot be tricked.
Most insurance policies require you to inform your insurance company that you have been in an accident as soon as possible, usually within 24 hours. However, we highly recommend you call your accident attorney first. They will advise you what you should do and say so that you do not lower your chances of getting fair compensation. Do not agree to anything on the spot as it might be very disadvantageous. Instead, let your lawyer take care of everything.
Comparative Fault in Florida
Florida Statute 768.81 defines the principle of comparative fault. This means that more than one party can be found at fault for the accident. So, in a situation when somebody ignored a traffic signal and collided with your vehicle, but you were on your phone during it, you might be found partially guilty for the accident, let’s say 20%. This does not mean that you do not have the right to compensation, but it means that your damages will be lowered accordingly. If your fault is lower than 50%, you are still entitled to seek compensation for the auto accident. One of our car accident lawyers can help you lower this percentage to a minimum and create a strong defense for you.
What an Experienced Law Firm Can Do for You
You might have already noticed that the legal system in Florida is very complicated. If you want to claim damages, file a lawsuit, or defend yourself at a trial, you will need to keep in mind all the laws, regulations, and deadlines set by the State of Florida. This can be very tiring, especially if you are trying to deal with your own injuries at the same time.
Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer will take this burden off your shoulders. They have studied the law and acquired enough experience to be able to provide you with the legal support you need. We know Florida law very well, and if you schedule a free case evaluation with us, we will provide you with your options and recommend you on your future steps – regardless of whether you later decide to hire us or not. So, there is nothing to lose in contacting us.
Contact The Law Place Today for a Free Consultation
The Law Place is a professional law firm with over 75 years of combined experience. Our attorneys are experienced in many practice areas, including traffic accidents and personal injury. Moreover, most of them have received the highest AVVO rating there is – 10.0 – so you will be in good hands.
Do not hesitate to call us as soon as possible at (941) 444-4444. We offer a non-binding, free consultation, good quality attorneys, and discreet treatment. So, call us and join our happy clientele.