Sarasota County, a place where thousands upon thousands of visitors flock every year to chase the warm temperatures and escape the cold temperatures back home. With the hot temperatures and golden beaches, it really is a paradise beside one small fact.
Sarasota, and the rest of Florida remains to be one of the most dangerous places to be a driver or a pedestrian in the United States. With the world’s biggest rental car hub at Orlando Airport and millions of tourists thrown into the mix, the roads can be lethal in the sunshine state. The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) state that around 400,000 accidents happen in Florida alone, many of them in Sarasota. Of these 400,000, tragically, 3,535 people will lose their life due to serious injuries received in a car accident. Most of the time, accidents are caused by negligence or a lapse in concentration of a single party. This means that for the victim, their lives can often be changed forever through no fault of their own. This is where the help of a seasoned Sarasota criminal defense lawyer becomes invaluable.
Unsafe lane changes are an easy mistake to make. Most of the time, nothing will come of it. Sometimes, however, there can be dire consequences to simple mistakes. Looking at a phone, reaching for some food, or changing the radio, and you might not see the accident happening until it unfolds in front of you. If the person causing the accident doesn’t see it coming, think how hard it is for the victim of the crash to predict it. This is what makes it so hard to avoid and why most victims do not even have a chance to move out of the way or try to change their course.
If you have been injured as a result of an unsafe lane change in Sarasota county, or you are being accused of doing so, the smartest thing you can do is to get in touch with a skilled Sarasota car accident lawyer. Here at The Law Place, we have years of experience dealing with both sides of incidents like this. Get in touch today on 941-444-4444 for a free consultation in Florida.
Examples of Unsafe Lane Changes in Florida
Unsafe lane change accidents can be devastating for every party involved. They happen suddenly and give neither vehicle very long to react or predict what will happen next. In studies done in 2014, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) found that drivers fail to indicate that they were changing lane in 50% of all lane changes. So, what exactly constitutes as an unsafe lane change? Well, we see a range of different cases in Sarasota county, here are some of the more common ones:
- Changing lanes when other drivers cannot completely see your actions.
- Ignoring mirrors and blind-spots so that you do not see a car approaching in the desired lane.
- Not using lane indicators to tell other users of an upcoming lane change.
- Straddling more than one lane for an unreasonable amount of time.
What Are the Penalties for Unsafe Lane Change Accidents?
Car accidents that happen as a result of poor lane changing decisions happen in Sarasota, can lead to serious consequences. The penalties you might face in Sarasota vary from citations to tickets in terms of law enforcement. When it comes to liability, you may also be forced to pay damages to the victim. If you need any clarification, then contact us today for a free case review. Some of the most common forms of damage include:
- Medical bills – Any medical bills that you have had to pay since the accident, including ambulances, surgeries, and medication.
- Future bills – If a doctor has decided that you may have long term injuries as a result of the car accident, this long-term injury will be accounted for.
- Loss of enjoyment – If the accident has caused someone to change their life so that they cannot do what they normally enjoy, they can claim for pain and suffering.
- Property damage – Car repairs and anything in the car that was broken.
- House/car alterations – If the patient has had to adapt their house due to their accident, this will be paid for.
How to Avoid Committing Unsafe Lane Change Infringements
Everyone is taught how to change lane correctly when they learn to drive, an exceedingly high number of drivers still do it wrong or unlawfully every single day. However, car accidents can lead to huge sums, which will not be covered by your insurance company, therefore it is worth trying to bear in mind the consequences of not changing lane safely.
- Signaling – Cars come fitted with turn signals for a reason; every single time you plan to make a lane change or direction change, use your signals. Drivers could be in your blind spot or unaware of what you are about to do. Try and do it a few seconds in advance to avoid an accident.
- Yield to merge – Follow the correct signs when merging into a single lane and take your turn. Lots of accident cases arise due to a collision by two stubborn drivers during merging.
What Should I Do After Being in an Unsafe Lane Change Accident?
When involved in an accident after someone has made an unsafe turn, follow these steps:
- Safe – Make sure you are as safe as possible. Move away from the crash and out of the flow of traffic. If there are others involved and they have not been injured, move them as well. Call the emergency services as soon as possible.
- Evidence – Once everyone is safe, and you are in an able position, start collecting evidence. You should follow Florida Statute 316.062 and call the police to the scene of the accident. You need to note as much information as possible, such as driver name, number, address, car reg, car type, witnesses, police offer badge number, and names.
- Sketch – Draw a sketch of the vehicle accident scene. Draw the road and the lanes, draw a square in the locations the two cars were labeled “A” and “B” one for each car involved, draw the directions of travel with arrows. This can be really handy in court.
- Medical aid – Even if you feel fine, you need to get to a hospital or health professional right away. You could have hidden injuries or injuries that will be delayed in showing symptoms. If you do not see a medical professional immediately, you will have a very hard time claiming medical costs at a later point.
- Consult – This is the best time to find a good personal injury accident law firm and to speak to some car accident attorneys on your best course of action.
When it comes to car accidents and car accident personal injury cases, everything is time sensitive. The sooner you speak to a Sarasota attorney and a medical professional, the better your chances when it comes to a claim at a later point. Make sure you contact us at The Law Place today and you will receive a free case review.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With an Unsafe Lane Change Accident Lawsuit?
To seek compensation, you are going to need to fight at least one insurance company. These companies have vast wealth and incredibly skilled and aggressive legal teams who have the sole purpose of lowering their payouts by devaluing your claim. This means that you are disadvantaged from the very first instance. Unless you know the complexities of car accident law in Sarasota, you will probably receive less then you deserve.
By hiring a skilled car accident attorney, you will level the field and give yourself a fighting chance at seeking what you deserve. The insurance companies will always try and deceive and trick you into a lower offer for your car accident. They will do this with low ball offers and by contacting you without going through your attorney. This is why we suggest leaving all liaising with your car accident attorney.
What Can a Sarasota Car Accident Attorney Do for Me?
We have just discussed that the insurance companies are going to be out to devalue your claim or refuse it entirely. This is how they stay as rich as they are.
When you put your trust in a car accident attorney, the very first thing that will happen will be your free consultation to discuss your car accident. We will ask some easy questions and evaluate where you stand in terms of your case.
We will then lay out our fee structure in a clear and easy to understand way. If you agree, we can start asking more detailed questions to help us build a better picture of your car accident. After this, you can relax, we will do all of your investigating for you. We will speak to the witnesses and police and responders, get their statements and, if necessary, hire expert reconstructions and experts to corroborate your story.
With all of this accident information, we should be able to work out roughly how much your claim is worth. We will use this sum to negotiate with the insurance company and hopefully come to a settlement figure that you are happy with. If you do not come to an agreement on the accident settlement, we will use the solid case we have built for you to convince a judge and jury you deserve the compensation.
Contact us at The Law Place Today!
If you or a loved one has suffered car accidents as a result of someone else’s mistake in Sarasota, don’t let their negligence ruin your life. Here at The Law Place, we have over 75 years of combined experience in dealing with car accident cases just like yours across Sarasota and Florida. Contact us today on 941-444-4444 for a free consultation in Florida, and our phone lines are open 24/7.