Traffic lights can be found all over the United States to promote the safety of motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians and decrease the risks of car accidents. Although being forced to stop at a red light can be frustrating, especially if you’re running late or have been caught in a lot of traffic, it’s crucial that everyone follows the rules of the road in order to prevent potentially fatal car accidents from happening. However, not all drivers fulfill this duty of care.
In 2018 alone, 846 people were killed in crashes caused by a driver ignoring a red light, and 139,000 more were injured, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Because of the clear danger it poses, it is completely unacceptable to ignore a red light, and reckless drivers should be punished accordingly.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a St. Petersburg car accident that wasn’t your fault, then you should contact an accident attorney to find out if you could be entitled to compensation. The personal injury lawyers at The Law Place have over 75 years of collective experience working with the Florida legal system and helping clients just like you get the justice they deserve. We offer a completely free legal consultation to anyone who thinks they could have a personal injury claim, where one of our skilled and knowledgeable car accident attorneys will be able to offer you valuable legal advice that’s specific to your case.
Get help from our reputable lawyers today and call us!
Why Drivers Might Ignore a Red Light in St. Petersburg, FL.
Traffic lights are some of the most basic traffic signals used in the United States, and they’re incredibly easy to understand and follow but are also crucial to protect road users. Despite this, it’s unfortunately far too common for drivers to fail to yield for red lights. This is a form of reckless driving and is very dangerous as it can cause a severe, and sometimes even fatal, car accident. Because of this, there are no excuses for ignoring the rules of the road.
However, listed below are some of the most common reasons that a driver may claim they ignored a red light for:
- They were in a rush.
- They were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI).
- They were distracted, oftentimes because they were eating or using their cell phone, and didn’t realize that the lights had turned red.
- The driving conditions were poor, meaning they were struggling to see properly.
- They had been speeding and so were unable to slow down to stop in enough time.
- They hadn’t expected the light to change so quickly and assumed they’d still be able to make it in time.
The at-fault driver may use one of these excuses, or another, in an attempt to justify their reckless driving, but regardless of their reasoning, you could still be entitled to compensation. Under Florida law, all drivers are expected to sufficiently adapt their driving to the current conditions to limit the risk they pose to themselves and other road users. Because of this, they will likely be held liable for your accident if they failed to stop at a red light.
If you have been involved in a red light car accident and want to find out if you deserve compensation, then you should contact The Law Place today and schedule a free consultation.
Common Injuries Sustained in Red Light Accidents
All types of car accidents can leave victims suffering from serious injuries, but this is particularly true for red light accidents. This is because it’s common for the drivers who fail to yield to have been speeding, which causes a bigger impact. As well as this, many red light accidents usually result in side collisions, also known as T-bone collisions, which are especially dangerous for passengers as the sides of cars provide little protection to anyone inside.
Some of the most common injuries that are sustained in red light accidents include the following:
- Sprains, lacerations, burns, bruises, and soreness.
- Fractures and broken bones.
- Back and spinal cord injuries, such as paralysis in serious cases.
- Neck injuries, such as whiplash.
- Traumatic brain or head injuries.
- Internal organ injuries.
- Internal bleeding.
- Disfigurement or dismemberment.
- Wrongful death.
Victims of car accidents may also suffer from trauma and emotional distress long after the crash happened.
If you have suffered from any of the injuries listed above, or others, because of a driver failing to yield for a red light, then you should call The Law Place. Our St. Petersburg car accident lawyers have the knowledge and experience required to fight for the compensation and justice that you deserve, so schedule a free consultation with us today.
Determining Liability in a Red Light Accident in St. Petersburg, FL.
If you were involved in a red light accident, then we highly advise you to hire a reputable personal injury attorney to give yourself the best chance at securing the compensation that you deserve.
If you choose to work with our team at The Law Place, then you can trust that we will do our best to prove that the driver who failed to yield for the red light was behaving in a negligent way and violated the duty of care that they owed you.
Every case is different, but the parties that are most often held liable for car accidents include the following:
- The driver failed to stop at the red light.
- If the driver involved worked for a company as a driver at the time of the crash, then their employer.
- If the vehicle or a vehicle part was defective, then the manufacturer.
- If the driver didn’t own the vehicle that was involved in the accident, then the vehicle’s owner.
- If the involved vehicle was serviced negligently, then a mechanic and the auto shop they work for.
Claiming Damages Following a Car Accident in St. Petersburg, FL.
We know that after being involved in a car accident, you will likely not only be suffering from the injuries and trauma caused but also from an unfair amount of financial burdens. This is why we want to help you.
Once you’ve hired our law firm, our car accident lawyers will get to work straight away at establishing who the negligent party is, assessing the damages, and building a strong case. Our attorneys have frequently recovered compensation for the following damages:
- Medical expenses – If you required medical attention after the car accident, then you should receive compensation to cover these bills, and any related expenses, such as doctor visits, prescriptions, physical therapy, and even transportation to and from appointments. This also covers any future medical bills you may face.
- Lost wages – If the injuries you sustained were severe enough to force you to miss work for any period of time, then you could be owed compensation to cover any lost wages. You may also be entitled to compensation to cover a reduced future earning ability.
- Property damage – If your motor vehicle was damaged during the crash, then you may deserve compensation to cover the costs of repairs in St. Petersburg.
- Pain and suffering – If the accident has left you suffering from emotional distress and you’re no unable to enjoy some activities that you used to, then you could be entitled to compensation. However, this can be very difficult to prove in court, so it’s crucial that you have skilled legal representation, as this will make it more likely for you to successfully prove your suffering and secure the compensation that you deserve.
- Wrongful death – If you lost a loved one in a red light car accident, then you may be owed compensation to cover funeral costs and loss of consortium.
While we understand that no amount of money will fix the injuries and trauma that you’ve had to endure, we do know that it could help you manage the financial losses you’ve since experienced and serve as proof that some form of justice has been served.
Our St. Petersburg car accident lawyers at The Law Place each have an abundance of experience in dealing with the Florida legal system and supporting clients just like you, so you can rest assured that they will be able to win the maximum amount of compensation possible based on your case on your behalf. Therefore, if you or a loved one have been injured in a red light car accident, you should contact The Law Place today. While our determined and skilled personal injury lawyers work your case, you’ll be able to completely relax and focus on healing.
How Should I Deal With My Insurance Company?
Under Florida law, all accident victims must notify their insurance companies that they were involved in an accident within 24 hours of the incident happening, except in extreme circumstances. However, if possible, we recommend that you speak to a personal injury lawyer before you do contact your insurance company.
This is because insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible to you and so will have claim adjusters and their own lawyers who will attempt to discredit your claim. By speaking to a car accident attorney first, you will know what you should and shouldn’t say to the insurance company, which will preserve your chance at filing a lawsuit.
If you’re unable to contact a law firm beforehand, then you should keep your statements short and stick to the truth, but don’t offer any more details than what’s absolutely necessary. You should also avoid speaking about the extent of your injuries.
Principle of Comparative Fault in Florida
Under Florida Statute 768.81, the State of Florida is a comparative fault state. This means that more than one driver can be found to be responsible for a car accident. However, as long as you’re found to be less than 50% at fault, you will still preserve the right to claim compensation, although the settlement you receive will be reduced based upon your level of fault.
For example, if you have been involved in a car accident where a driver ran a red light and crashed into you at an intersection, but you had been speeding at the time, then you may be determined to be 10% at fault. Your final settlement would therefore be reduced by 10%.
This law means that the insurance company of the at-fault party will try their best to maximize your share of the blame, as it will mean that they will pay out less. To ensure that you are treated fairly and not taken advantage of, you should hire a car accident lawyer from The Law Place, who will be able to argue on your behalf and ensure you get every cent that you are owed. Without our help, you may not receive the settlement that you’re entitled to.
How Much Will My Accident Lawyer Cost?
There is a myth that worthwhile legal representation is incredibly expensive. Unfortunately, many people believe this and are therefore reluctant at first to hire a personal injury lawyer, especially as they are already facing unexpected and unfair costs from an accident.
However, you have nothing to fear if you choose to work with our team at The Law Place. Our St. Petersburg car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, also known as a no-win-no-fee basis. This means that, unless your case is successful, you will not have to pay us a single cent. Even if we do win your case, our legal fees will be subtracted from your final settlement, meaning that you won’t have to pay us anything out of your own pocket!
And you can trust that our legal fees are completely transparent, as all the contingency work that we take on is monitored by The State Bar Association.
When Should You Contact a St. Petersburg Car Accident Lawyer?
If you have been involved in a car accident in St. Petersburg, then you should act as soon as possible. Under Florida Statute 95.11, personal injury victims only have four years after the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. Regardless of how serious the accident may have been, your case will be dismissed if you wait longer than four years, which will prevent you from securing the compensation you deserve.
Because of this, you shouldn’t hesitate to file a claim. If you’ve been injured in a red light car accident, then you should contact The Law Place immediately. The sooner you do, the more time our attorneys will have to thoroughly investigate your case, gather evidence, and build a strong argument, meaning you’ll have a much better chance at winning the compensation you deserve.
Once you’ve hired us, we’ll deal with the complicated legal system and insurance companies on your behalf, meaning that you can relax and focus on recovering from the traumatic experience. The sooner you contact us, the sooner you can put the accident behind you, so don’t hesitate! We offer a free consultation to all prospective clients, so call us today to arrange yours.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Could Help You
When you first start considering hiring a car accident attorney, you should look for law firms that already have plenty of experience with cases similar to yours, as they will have the knowledge and skill required to build a strong case in the pursuit of compensation for your injuries.
Some ways that a St. Petersburg lawyer from The Law Place will be able to help you include the following:
- Answer any questions you may have, whether they’re specific to your case or regarding the legal system in general, and offer you valuable legal advice.
- Use all our resources to thoroughly investigate your case and gather useful evidence, such as witness statements and police reports, to strengthen your case.
- Calculate the value of your case and the maximum amount of compensation you could receive by examining medical bills, doctor’s statements, employment records, receipts, and more.
- Communicate with the liable party and insurance companies on your behalf.
- Negotiate a favorable settlement to ensure that you are not getting taken advantage of.
- If an agreeable settlement cannot be reached, then we will aggressively represent you in court.
If you have been injured in a car accident that was not your fault, then you have the right to hold the negligent driver responsible for all you have endured. Our team of tenacious accident attorneys wants to help you achieve compensation, so contact The Law Place today to book a free case evaluation.
Contact The Law Place Today!
If you have been involved in a red light car accident in St. Petersburg or elsewhere in Florida, then don’t hesitate to contact The Law Place. Car accident victims are often left suffering from severe injuries and trauma. We want to help you get the compensation and justice that you thoroughly deserve.
We offer a free consultation to anyone who thinks they could be entitled to compensation, so call us today to speak to trustworthy and proficient lawyers about your case. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so contact us any time!
Call The Law Place!