Tailgating in Tampa or anywhere is not only annoying for the car in front, but it is also distracting and dangerous. In fact, according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV), Florida is one of the most dangerous states to drive in, with over 400,000 accidents every year, and tailgating is a leading cause.
If you have been injured because someone was tailgating you in Tampa, then you need a car accident lawyer who is dedicated to fighting for the compensation you are owed. At The Law Place, we have over 75 years of combined experience dealing with personal injury cases in Florida. We offer a free case evaluation so that you can make a decision after you have had all of your questions answered. Our personal injury lawyers are there for you when you need them because our phone lines are always open. So call us any time of the day or night on (813) 544-4444.
What To Do After A Car Accident In Tampa?
If you are reading this at the scene of the accident, then here is some quick advice.
- Check for injury – The first thing you should do after an accident is to check yourself, passengers, and people in other vehicles for injury. If anyone needs medical attention, then call 911 immediately.
- Move somewhere safe – If injuries do not prevent you from moving, then get everyone to somewhere safe, out of the way of any hazards.
- Call the police – According to Florida law, if anyone has an injury or there is substantial property damage, you must call the police. They will file a report which could become important to your case.
- Gather information from the other driver – Gather information from the other driver, including car, contact, and insurance information.
- Gather information from the scene – Accidents can occur for many reasons, and you may not have all of the information. Take contact information from witnesses and take photos of the scene. Photos should include things like the vehicles involved, road conditions, road signs, and any skid marks.
- Seek medical treatment – According to Florida Statute 627.736, you must seek medical treatment within two weeks of a car crash to claim personal injury damages. However, the sooner, the better as your medical records will serve as better evidence that your injuries were caused by the accident. Furthermore, adrenaline may prevent you from knowing the extent of your injuries, so it’s always a good idea to get checked out.
- Call your car insurance – You are required to inform your insurance. However, be mindful that anything you say could be used to devalue your claim. Keep the facts simple and simply tell them that you will give them more information after you have had time to process what has happened. Even better, phone The Law Place first, and see if we can speak to them on your behalf.
For a free legal consultation with a tailgating accidents lawyer serving Tampa, call 941-444-4444
What Is Tailgating in Tampa, FL?
The definition of tailgating is following a car in front at an unsafe distance. The guidelines are to follow other vehicles at a distance of one car length for every ten miles per hour of speed. However, it is not always that simple. The distance should at least double if the road or weather conditions are dangerous, such as in heavy rain or dirt road tracks. These guidelines are designed to give you enough time to react if anything unexpected was to occur, such as if the vehicle in front was to suddenly stop a maneuver.
However, anyone who has driven on Florida’s bust highways has experienced cars from other lanes sneaking across if you leave to much distance. This can create dangerous conditions where the distance between vehicles is insufficient. It can often be difficult to determine how close is too close, even for the authorities, and it is often left to the discretion of police officers to decide if a driver is behaving dangerously.
In Florida, tailgating is a traffic violation, and 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 then would be considered reasonable.
As a result, being ticketed for tailgating involves a lot of subjectivity. Police officers are expected to use their discretion and common sense when handing out a tailgating ticket in Tampa. However, if tailgating results in a rear-end collision, where a car drives into the back of another, the driver at the back is usually considered to be at fault. If you are unsure whether you have a case for compensation based on a car accident caused by tailgating, then contact The Law Place for a free consultation. Your car accident attorney will ask some simple questions to make an evaluation of your individual case and tell you if we think you have a strong claim.
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Why Do People Tailgate in Tampa?
Tailgating is a form of aggressive driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Saftey Administration. It is a dangerous and unnecessary practice that can cause devastating car accidents and injuries. People often tailgate because:
- Road rage.
- Careless driving.
- Distracted driving.
- Aggressive driving.
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Types of Tailgating
- The first type of tailgater is a driver who isn’t considering what would happen if the vehicle in front of them was to suddenly break or maneuver. They may know that tailgating is dangerous, but they are complacent and could be distracted driving.
- Or they may be ignorant of the dangers of tailgating and not realize that what they are doing is dangerous. They may fail to make adjustments to their driving style when the weather is bad, or the road conditions are dangerous. This can often happen to new and inexperienced drivers.
- Another common reason is complacency. They know it could be dangerous but have been doing it for years, and nothing has ever happened to them. They don’t consider the risks until the inevitable crash happens.
- Finally, there is an aggressive tailgater. These drivers know the dangers and might be trying to intimidate or even race another diver.
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Who Is Responsible for Tailgating Car Accidents in Tampa?
When tailgating leads to a car accident, it usually results in a rear-end collision. Following rear-end collisions, the driver at the back is presumed to be at fault.
Car accidents as a result of tailgating are also presumed to be preventable, and therefore the driver at the back can be found negligent for failing to drive sensibly and act as a reasonable person would. It is common sense that you should leave sufficient space between you and the car in front, especially in adverse weather conditions or on hazardous roads, such as if there are a lot of parked cars or potholes.
In order to prove negligence, your car accident lawyer will work to establish:
- A duty of care was owed – This is simple. If you are driving in Florida, you have an automatic duty of care to take reasonable steps to keep other drivers and pedestrians safe.
- This duty of care was breached – Next, you need to prove that the driver breached their duty of care by not acting reasonably. When another driver tailgates, they breach their duty of care because tailgating is considered a form of reckless driving.
- The breach of this duty of care caused the accident – If another driver was tailgating and there was a rear-end collision, it is likely that their actions caused this accident. However, other forms of accidents can also be caused by tailgating. For example, if you were turning into a road, they may have hit your side on. This could be a bit more difficult to prove, but a car accident lawyer at The Law Place will have the experience necessary to fight your case.
- The accident led to damages – The car accident must have caused your damages, such as medical expenses, vehicle damage, and pain and suffering. This is usually easy to prove, but the other driver’s insurance company will likely have experienced lawyers on their side who will work on dismissing or devaluing your injuries. By having a lawyer on your side, we will make sure that you are not taken advantage of.
What Damages Can Result From a Car Accident in Tampa, Florida?
Following a car accident, your accident attorney will fight for your right to the following damages:
- Pain and suffering such as emotional anguish and loss of enjoyment, if you are left with injuries that prevent you from living your life as you once did.
- Medical bills, including medical bills for past, present, and future treatment.
- Property damage.
- Rehabilitation expenses.
- Lost income.
- Lost earning potential.
- If a loved one has died in a car accident, then you should be able to claim for funeral expenses and loss of earnings to a family household.
Dealing With a Florida Car Insurance Company
Following a road traffic accident in Tampa, you will have to deal with different insurance companies. However, what many people fail to realize is that insurance companies are big businesses, and their priority is profit. They have claim adjusters and lawyers with a lot of experience who will try to devalue your claim or dismiss it entirely.
According to Florida Statute 627.7407, Florida is a no-fault state, and this applies to both your own insurance company and the other drivers. In a no-fault state, you will first try to claim damages from your own insurance company, whether or not you were at fault. However, if your damages exceed your policy limits, then you will need to claim from the other driver. This is especially true if more than two vehicles are involved in the accident.
Our advice is to speak to the personal injury attorneys at The Law Place before you contact your insurance company. You must inform your insurance of an accident, this will be laid out in your policy, but they usually give you 24 hours. If you fail to inform them, you could lose out on your coverage. When you speak to us first will advise you on what to say or speak to them on your behalf.
If you must speak to them, keep it simple, anything you say could be used against you. It might be natural to say you feel ok but remember after accident adrenaline is running high, and you may not know the extent of your injuries. Avoid taking about the extent of any damage and let them know that your lawyer will be in touch.
What Can The Law Place Do For Me?
After an accident in Tampa, we recommend calling The Law Place so that we can advise you on your next steps. We can offer some free advice over the phone, so you can decide if you would like an in-depth consultation. In this consultation, we will explain what we can do for you, and we will tell you our fee structure. At this point, you can walk away or let us take over your case and begin collecting evidence.
When the other driver’s insurance hears that you have a law firm on your side, they will likely contact you in the hopes that you will settle quickly. If you do this, then you will receive a much lower amount then what you deserve, and you will not be able to pursue your rights to any further compensation. Before accepting any offer, speak to your attorney first. And avoid talking about the accident with them.
Most crashes in Tampa result in a settlement, which means you will not have to go to court. However, if it does, we will have already built up a strong case and will be ready to fight.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire Attorney in Florida?
Research shows that over 90% of cases that have representation end in a payout, and the payout is, on average, 60% more than those without a lawyer by their side.
At The Law Place, we deal with car accident cases every day. However, that does not mean that we do not value your individual case. We understand what a big impact they can have on your life. That’s why we offer a free consultation so that you can make a decision after you have all the facts and have had a chance to process what happened. We work on a contingency basis, which means that you don’t pay anything upfront. The cost will be deducted from your settlement, and if we are unsuccessful, you will not pay anything.
Contingency work is monitored by the State Bar Associations, which set restrictions on the percentage of your settlement can be taken by a lawyer. In your consultation, your attorney will ensure that you understand the costs so that you do not end up with any surprises.
Speak to The Law Place Today!
If you have been in a tailgating accident in Florida, then you need a committed and experienced law firm on your side. At The Law Place, unlike other law firms, we will evaluate your case as a team to ensure the best possible result. You will have the advantage of our combined experience, which spans over 75 years. We will support you so that you can focus on your recovery. Call us today on (813) 544-4444 to arrange a free consultation.
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