The roads and highways of Tampa are busy and, therefore, vulnerable to road accidents. There is never an excuse for not obeying a traffic signal or failure to yield, and when people do this, they put lives at risk. A failure to adhere to the traffic laws is an action that could result in life-altering injuries, especially if the driver is under the influence, which is often the case. Victims of this kind of traffic accident could be entitled to compensation.
Drivers on the roads of Tampa, Florida, are often forced to make quick decisions about who has the right of way and when to yield. Florida law, however, specifies instances in which a driver must yield to pedestrians, bicyclists, and other vehicles. For example, a driver turning left must yield the right-of-way to other vehicles. Also, a driver at an intersection must yield to a vehicle approaching the intersection from a highway. If there are no traffic controls or if they are malfunctioning, then a driver must yield to pedestrians. Many drivers, however, fail to yield and cause a number of serious car crash injuries. Data from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) shows that there were over 78,000 failure-to-yield violations in 2012 alone.
If you have been involved in a road accident due to someone’s failure to follow traffic laws in Tampa, you will need the support of an experienced personal injury lawyer from The Law Place. Call us today on (941) 444-4444 for a free consultation to discuss your options.
Right of Way Laws in Tampa, FL
- Right-of-way is indicated by stop signs or yield signs as authorized.
- At a four-way stop, the driver of the first vehicle to stop at the intersection is the first one to proceed.
- Every driver approaching a stop sign has to stop at the clearly-marked stop line (unless directed to proceed by police or traffic control signal) before entering the crosswalk. After stopping, the driver yields the right-of-way to anyone already proceeding through the intersection.
- If approaching a yield sign, a driver must slow down to a “reasonable” speed considering the existing conditions and stop if necessary before proceeding.
Another Florida statute that addresses how drivers and pedestrians must interact is Florida Statute 316.130, which states:
- Pedestrians must obey all traffic signal controls as provided.
- Walk on sidewalks when provided (rather than on the side of the road).
- If no sidewalks, pedestrians must walk only on the left shoulder of the road, facing traffic in the opposite direction.
- Drivers at intersections have to stop before entering the crosswalk and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian with a permitted signal time to cross the road.
- When there is nothing to indicate otherwise, motor vehicle drivers are directed to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in a crosswalk.
- Vehicle drivers are not allowed to overtake and pass a vehicle stopped at an unmarked intersection when that vehicle is stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross.
Other statutes require vehicles in a roundabout intersection to yield the right-of-way to vehicles already circulating. Drivers in a T-intersection must yield to those already in the road.
When a motorist does not properly yield the right-of-way and a failure to yield accident results with injuries, that driver and his insurer may be held responsible.
Common Signal Violations in Tampa, FL
Florida drivers are most likely to cause a road accident when they are distracted. For example, they may be;
- Road rage.
- Using their cell phone.
- Eating and drinking while driving.
- Adjusting the radio or GPS.
- Interacting with passengers.
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI).
Any behavior that causes a driver to take their eyes off the road creates the possibility of not seeing a stop sign, a yield to pedestrian sign, a school crossing sign or traffic signals and as a result, not seeing a pedestrian, bicycle or other car and causing an accident resulting in injury. Common results of being distracted whilst driving include;
- Running stop signs and red lights.
- Driving above or below the speed limit.
- Ignoring markings, signs, or traffic laws.
- Drifting from the designated lane.
- Failing to indicate.
- Overtaking unsafely.
- Failure to yield.
- Blocking an intersection.
These violations are amongst the most dangerous, and a car accident that occurs as a result often results in life-changing injuries. Sadly, we are all trusting other motorists to drive safely, and when they fail to do so, it could be you that suffers the ramifications. Don’t worry, our Florida accident lawyers have dealt with many cases like yours and are dedicated to getting you the justice you deserve.
Injuries From a Car Accident
Injuries from a car accident may be significant. Some people even lose their lives when colliding with another vehicle. Injuries you may sustain include:
- Head injuries, such as a concussion.
- Cuts, bruises, or burns.
- Emotional trauma and psychological distress.
In addition to these injuries, victims may sustain substantial property damage. With the help of an experienced Tampa personal injury lawyer at The Law Place, you can recover these damages. Get in touch for your free consultation.
Liability in a Car Accident Injury Case in Tampa, FL
In failure-to-yield crashes, at least one driver is almost always negligent, even when there were outside conditions (i.e., inclement weather, overgrown shrubs, etc.). These accidents are largely preventable.
All motorists have a duty of care to others. The duty of care requires drivers to be safe on the roads, driving reasonably in order to keep everyone safe. When someone violates their duty of care by driving unsafely, if they then cause an accident, they can be found liable for the damages.
A victim who bases his or her personal injury claim on negligence must show that;
- A duty of care was owed – You are owed a duty of care by anyone that drives.
- A breach in the duty of care – By driving aggressively, the duty of care is breached.
- That breach resulted in your injuries – A Tampa car accident lawyer can prove that an accident resulted in your injuries.
- The injuries led to damages – Any injuries from a motor vehicle accident can lead to damages. You can claim for the damages if a correlation can be proved.
A driver may fail to yield for a number of reasons. A distracted driver, for example, may not see you crossing at a crosswalk. A speeding driver may go through a traffic sign and strike your vehicle in a T-bone collision. As the victim, you must show that the driver’s failure to yield violated his duty to use reasonable care and caused your injuries.
Proving a Claim in Tampa
There are some crash cases where the question of fault is fairly straightforward. An example might be a driver who fails to stop for a red light, enters an intersection, and T-bones another vehicle.
But when there are no independent witnesses and conflicting accounts from drivers involved, the facts can quickly get muddied.
Even if an at-fault driver admits to some liability, he or she may argue that the victim shared a significant portion of the blame. This is called comparative negligence. It won’t bar a claim completely, but it could almost certainly reduce the total damage awarded.
Unfortunately, just because a responding police officer assigns blame to one party or another, this may not be the final word on the matter. Often, these cases do go to trial, and accident reconstructionist expert witnesses are called to help sort through all the details.
Overcoming these challenges requires the involvement of a knowledgeable injury lawyer with the necessary resources and experience to conduct a thorough investigation.
In some failure-to-yield accidents, the defendant will argue that your own actions caused your injuries. However, negligence on your part does not prevent you from recovering damages. Florida allows recovery even if the victim is mostly (or more than 50 percent) at fault for his or her own injuries. A court will determine each party’s negligence, and you can get damages in proportion to your degree of fault.
Damages Claimed in a Failure to Obey Traffic Signals Car Accident Case in Tampa
In Tampa, Florida these are the most common types of damages you can claim for a car accident:
- Medical bills – You should claim for past, present, and future medical expenses relating to the accident. Medical expenses include transportation to and from appointments and medical bills.
- Loss of Earnings – If your injuries result in loss of wages or earning potential, then you are entitled to compensation.
- Property damage – In Tampa, you can be reimbursed for the costs of repairing your vehicle.
- Pain and suffering – if you are unable to do something you once could, resulting in mental suffering and lack of enjoyment, this comes under pain and suffering. Though hard to quantify, an accident lawyer can help ensure you get the best deal possible from your claim.
- Loss of a loved one – If due to an accident, you have been unfortunate enough to lose a loved one, you can expect compensation for funeral expenses and loss of consortium.
Dealing With Insurance Companies
In can sometimes be difficult to claim for compensation from an insurance provider in Tampa. Because Florida is a no-fault state, you initially have to try to claim compensation from your own insurance company. This is unless the damages supersede your policy limit, in which case, you can be referred to the other motorist’s insurance company.
One thing to keep in mind is that insurance companies are big businesses, and their main aim is to make a profit. There are claims adjusters who are very experienced in their jobs. Their sole objective is to reject your claim or at least find a way to devalue it. It is imperative that you do not find yourself being taken advantage of by these people. If, however, you have accident lawyers supporting you, your rights can be protected, and they will be there to fight for your case from beginning to end.
Following an accident, it is your responsibility to tell your insurance provider. Your individual policy will detail how quickly you have to do this, but some policies are within 24 hours. Remember that whatever you say could be used against you, so make sure you are careful with what you say to your insurance company. Remain steadfast on the facts, and don’t be tempted to give detailed accounts of your injuries. A better scenario would include ringing The Law Place Tampa for a free case consultation. You could then receive the advice from our personal injury attorneys before you have to talk to your insurance provider.
What a Law Firm Will Do for You
It has been found that over 90% of people who receive assistance from attorneys following an accident receive compensation. On average, they receive 60% more than those who didn’t use a lawyer. This, of course, depends on the case at hand – but it is true that a lawyer can help you to gain as compensation as is possible for your claim.
After an accident, receive a free consultation from The Law Place. We provide a no-obligation service and, even better, it’s free. If our attorneys decide you have a valid claim, and you wish to go ahead, then we will arrange another meeting. This will be in-depth and will cover all the details you need to know. We will tell you how to proceed, what the law firm can do to help you, and also our fee details. There is no obligation to continue at this point; you can leave with no questions asked or, you can continue ahead with the claim.
If you decide to carry on, Law Place will be there for you every step of the way, investigating your case until it is completed, leaving you to concentrate on recovering. Finally, it’s no win-no fee, which means that if you don’t win your case, you won’t pay a thing. The Law Place takes our fee from your settlement, and there is no need to pay any amount upfront.
Contact The Law Place Today for Your Free Consultation
Any accident can cause substantial injuries and costly property damage, as well as much pain and suffering. It is especially upsetting when the accident is the result of someone failing to obey traffic signals.
If you have been involved in an accident with a dangerous driver, you may be entitled to receive damages as a result of their negligence as a driver. It is their responsibility to provide compensation, and you will need an attorney who knows Florida law and will fight by your side for justice.
Don’t face the Florida legal system alone – call us at The Law Place on (941) 444-4444 today for a free consultation with a personal injury attorney. Our law firm has 75 years of combined experience in these types of claims. Our practice areas cover Tampa, St Petersburg, and the rest of Florida.