Various factors can impact your ability to pursue compensation from the at-fault party for your injuries and other losses. The type of crash can influence the assessment of negligence and liability. This blog will explore the types of car accidents in Tampa and their legal implications.
Tampa Crash Type Data From The Florida Crash Dashboard
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Crash Dashboard, here are relevant statistics from Hillsborough County (Tampa) motor vehicle crashes from January 1, 2022, to December 31, 2022:
- 28,352 Motor vehicle crashes
- 12,146 Total Injury crashes
- 19,279 Crash injuries
- 220 Total fatal crashes
- 229 Fatalities from all crashes
- 476 Total bicycle crashes with 18 total fatalities
- 603 Total motorcycle crashes with 48 total fatalities
- 657 Total pedestrian crashes with 58 total fatalities
- 7,504 Total hit and run crashes with 1,874 injuries and 14 fatalities
- 530 Impaired total driving crashes with 364 injuries and 65 fatalities
The analysis of fault will be different in a drunk driving case than in a car crash that did not involve impairment. The questions about liability will not be the same in a pedestrian accident case as they will be in a collision between two motor vehicles.
For example, in a drunk driving case, one of the issues will be whether the impairment of one driver was the cause of the crash or merely a separate fact that was unrelated to causation. In a pedestrian accident, the judge and jury will want to know who had the right-of-way, whether the driver had enough time to stop, and the measures they used to try to avoid hitting the walker.
Different Types Of Crash By Point Of Impact
When discussing categories of crash types, we can also look at the point of impact. Here are some of the common kinds of crashes by point of impact:
- Rear-End Collisions. These crashes happen when the front car stops suddenly, or the rear vehicle is following too closely to stop in time. Inattention is a primary cause of these accidents. If the rear driver was distracted, they might not notice that traffic had slowed down in time to stop and avoid a collision.
- Side-Impact Crashes (T-Bone Collisions). Side-impact accidents can happen when a driver runs a stop sign or red light and crashes into cross-traffic. Failure to yield to oncoming traffic when executing a left turn is another frequent cause of these collisions. Catastrophic injuries or fatalities can result because the side of a car does not have bumpers, unlike the front and rear ends of the vehicle.
- Head-On Crashes. Head-on collisions have a high rate of fatalities due to the extreme combined force of the two vehicles on impact. These accidents can happen due to a driver’s confusion, impairment from drugs or alcohol, or trying to pass a vehicle on a two-lane road.
- Single-Vehicle Accidents. Single-vehicle collisions are often the result of a medical emergency, a driver falling asleep at the wheel, losing control of a vehicle because of speeding, or distracted driving.
- Sideswipe Collisions. When two vehicles make contact on the sides of both vehicles, rather than involving the front or back end of either car, you have a sideswipe collision. These accidents can happen when merging onto highways or changing lanes. Failure to check all the mirrors and be aware of the vehicle’s blind spots can contribute to these crashes.
If you got hurt in any collision in Tampa in an accident that was not your fault, you will want to talk to a lawyer right away. Insurance companies often settle car accident injury claims for pennies on the dollar when people try to handle their claims on their own without an attorney.
The Legal Implications Of Missing The Statute Of Limitations For A Tampa Car Accident
The statute of limitations is the rule that sets the time limit for filing a type of lawsuit. Until recently, you had four years to file a lawsuit for personal injuries caused by someone else’s negligence. Now, you only have two years under HB 837. Negotiating with the claims adjuster will not satisfy the statute of limitations.
The only way to preserve your right to pursue compensation from the negligent party if your case does not settle is to file a lawsuit against them before the deadline expires. If you miss the statute of limitations, Florida law will forever bar you from going after monetary damages for your losses.
What Happens To Your Tampa Car Accident Injury Claim If You Were Partly At Fault
Another recent Florida law change affecting car accident injury cases is how the state regards comparative fault. Florida used to be a pure comparative fault state, meaning that if someone else was at least 1 percent at fault, you could seek damages from them that reflect their negligence.
Now, Florida uses the modified comparative fault rule. Under this system, if the plaintiff bears more fault than the defendant, they cannot recover any compensation from the defendant for their injuries, according to HB 837. Still, your recovery will be reduced by your amount of fault.
Let’s say that you were 20 percent at fault in a collision. You can still pursue a claim for your losses under the new law. Just like before, your financial recovery will get reduced by 20 percent to account for your negligence. If you were 80 percent responsible for the crash, however, you no longer seek any compensation for your injuries.
Recovering Monetary Damages After A Tampa Car Accident
Regardless of the motor vehicle collision, if someone else caused a crash that injured you, you likely can hold that driver financially accountable. You will want to keep the two-year statute of limitations in mind. Also, assess the relative fault of each party involved in the accident. The police report is a good place to start that analysis.
The Tampa personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine go the extra mile for our clients, and we treat them like family. We offer a free initial consultation with no obligation. Call us today to get started.
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