Tailgating is when a driver does not leave sufficient distance to stop when driving behind another vehicle. Not only is tailgating in Clearwater annoying for drivers on the road, but it can also lead to dangerous accidents. Florida is, in fact, one of the most dangerous states to drive in, Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) released data showing that there were over 400,000 accidents every year, tailgating is one of the leading causes.
If you have been injured after being tailgated while driving in Clearwater, FL, then you will require a car accident lawyer who will be dedicated to the fight for any compensation you are owed. At The Law Place, a lot of our accident attorneys are AVVO 10.0 rated and possess a combined 75 years of experience, so you know your personal injury case will be in the best hands if you choose us as your representation. Contact us today to organize a free consultation with our law firm on (941) 444-4444. Our phone lines are open 24/7 for your convenience.
What Is Tailgating?
The definition of tailgating is when somebody follows the car in front at an unsafe distance. The U.S. Department of Transportation and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) set guidelines to follow whereby vehicles must follow other vehicles at a distance of one car length for every ten miles per hour of speed. The distance should at least double if the road weather conditions are dangerous to accommodate for the longer breaking conditions when in adverse conditions. Such guidelines are put in place to give you adequate time to react if anything unexpected was to occur, for example, if the vehicle ahead was to suddenly break or maneuver.
Anybody driving on Florida’s highways will at least be aware or have experienced cars from other lanes moving across if you leave too much distance. This can then cause dangerous conditions where distances between cars are insufficient. It can be dangerous due to it being difficult to determine how close is too close, even for the authorities, and it is often left to police officers to decide whether a driver is acting dangerously. In the state of Florida, tailgating is a traffic violation, and so you could receive a ticket if:
- The other vehicle driving too closely was in the same lane as you.
- Road conditions are taken into account, and the distance that is considered unsafe varies if someone is following closer than it would be considered reasonable.
Police officers are expected to utilize their discretion and own common sense when giving out tickets for tailgating in Clearwater. If being tailgated results in a rear-end accident, where a car drives into the back of the one ahead, then it is more than likely that the person at the back will be the one who is considered at fault.
If you are unsure as to whether you have a case for compensation based on a car accident after being tailgated in the Clearwater or New Port Richey area, then contact The Law Place for a free case evaluation. Your experienced accident lawyer will ask you some simple questions so that we can accurately evaluate your case, and we will then inform you whether we believe you have a strong enough claim to go to court.
Why Do People Tailgate in Clearwater?
According to the National Highway Traffic Saftey Administration (NHTSA), tailgating is considered a form of aggressive driving. It is an unnecessary and potentially dangerous act that has the potential to cause considerable car accidents and injuries. People often tailgate for many reasons, including:
- Road rage.
- Distracted driving.
- Careless driving.
- Aggressive driving.
No matter the reason, if you have been involved in an accident after being tailgated, then it is important you contact a lawyer in Clearwater, FL, to receive the legal aid you may need.
Determining Liability After a Tailgating Car Accident in Clearwater
If being tailgated leads to a car accident, then it is usually, more specifically, a rear-end collision. Following this form of a car accident then the driver at the back is usually presumed to be at fault.
Car accidents that follow being tailgated are also presumed to be preventable. This then means that the driver at the back can be found negligent for failing to drive as a reasonable person would, thus putting people at danger. A reasonable driver would leave sufficient space between themselves and the car in front, especially in poor weather conditions or hazardous roads. In order to prove negligence following a car accident, the accident lawyers will aim to establish:
- A duty of care was owed – Every driver has a duty of care to take reasonable precautions to ensure other drivers and pedestrians are kept safe under Florida law.
- This duty of care was breached – If a person does not act as a reasonable person, would then the duty has likely been breached. When a driver tailgates, they have breached their duty of care as they’re being reckless.
- This breach of the duty of care caused the accident – It is very likely that if a driver tailgates another and it leads to an accident, it is likely that their actions caused this accident.
- The accident led to damages – The car accident must have caused any damages you suffer; this includes but is not limited to medical expenses, vehicle damage, and pain and suffering. This tends to be easy to prove; however, experienced lawyers on the side of the other driver’s insurance company will work on dismissing or devaluing any claims you make. Having knowledgeable accident attorneys on your side will ensure you’re not taken advantage of after an accident.
What Damages Are Available After a Tailgaiting Accident?
Car accidents tend to amount to a range of damages which can then be claimed for via compensation, some examples that you may have the right to include:
- Medical costs – If you have had to receive medical attention following your auto accident, then you will be able to claim for any medical costs you have encountered. Similarly, you’ll be able to claim for any ongoing costs if your injuries, unfortunately, have a permanent effect on your life and wellbeing.
- Pain and suffering – This involves any physical or mental anguish, as well as the loss of enjoyment following an accident. This is hard to prove; therefore, it is best to have a personal injury lawyer to help build a strong case on your behalf.
- Property damage – It is a given that your car would acquire some damage following a rear-end accident and so you can claim for any costs to repair or replace.
- Lost wages – If you require time off work for your recovery after an injury, then you can claim for any lost wages. If your injuries are sadly serious enough to mean you cannot return to work, then you may also be able to claim for projected wages too.
- Wrongful death – In the worst-case scenario whereby you have unfortunately lost a loved one following a tailgating accident, you will be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit under Florida Statute 768.21. This will cover funeral expenses and loss of consortium.
If you have been involved in an accident through being tailgated in Clearwater and believe you are owed any of these forms of damages, do not hesitate to contact The Law Place today to speak to one of our personal injury attorneys.
Dealing With a Clearwater Car Insurance Company
Following road traffic accidents in Clearwater, those involved will have to deal with several insurance companies. Unfortunately, insurance companies prioritize profit, and they have lawyers on their side to devalue and dismiss your claims.
Our advice in combatting this is speaking to a personal injury attorney at a law firm such as The Law Place following any accidents. Anything you say to a company could be used against you, so it is vital you have a personal injury lawyer explaining to you what to say, or they can instead speak on your behalf. After any car accidents, contact The Law Place for legal advice and support against insurance companies.
Contact The Law Place Today
If you or a loved one have been involved in a tailgating accident in Clearwater, FL, that was not your fault, then you will need a committed and experienced law firm representing your case.
Here at The Law Place, our team of personal injury lawyers will use their combined 75 years of experience to analyze your case as a team and decide the best possible strategy in getting you the justice you deserve. We will support you and take on the heavy burden of a legal battle so that you and your family can focus wholly on your recovery.
Call us today to organize a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer and receive legal advice on (941) 444-4444. Phone lines are open 24/7 for your convenience, so do not hesitate to call.