Of all the personal injury cases we handle, car accident cases are, by far the most common. While we are fortunate to live on the First Coast, we also serve as an important cross-section for commercial carriers sending semi-trailers through our city on Interstate 10 and Interstate 95. We also have thousands of tourists traveling through downtown and around our beltways each year. Jacksonville enjoys regular sporting events from NFL football games to TPC events which draw fans from all over. It is no wonder we have our share of car accidents.
In 2022, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Jacksonville, Duval County, had a total of 24,349 crashes resulting in 15,989 injuries, defined as the total number of people who sustained or complained of bodily injury or damage as a result of a traffic crash. Of the total crashes, there were 153 fatalities. Although some crashes are minor, many of them lead to more serious injuries resulting in more significant and expensive medical treatment. That is why it is important to speak with a Jacksonville car accident attorney at Rosenberg & Calvin, P.A., about your potential claims and right to compensation. We help residents of Jacksonville as well as those people who were injured as they were passing through our town.
There are several common reasons for car accidents in Jacksonville. Distracted driving must be at the top of the list. Technology has everyone looking at their phones, talking on their phones, or worse, texting while driving. Add to that road construction which seems to be constantly underway here in Jacksonville. Mix in highway speeding and you have a recipe for disaster. Our weather is also a contributing cause of traffic accidents. The roads are most dangerous right after it starts raining because all the oils on the roadway are raised to the surface. We have our share of downpours that obscure a driver’s vision. Slick roads and poor visibility lead to car accidents.
Intersectional collisions are another source of car accidents. People try to sneak by a stale yellow light only to run the red light and cause an accident. Another common scenario is when drivers make a left turn on a flashing yellow arrow or solid green light. As a left-turning driver on a flashing yellow or solid green light, you do not have the right of way. You must yield to oncoming traffic. Only if you have a solid green arrow can you be sure you have the right of way.
To prevail on a car accident claim, you have to prove the other driver had a duty, they breached that duty, you were injured, and your injuries were caused by the accident. It sounds simple but often times it is not that straightforward.
For example, in a two-car collision where you have been rear-ended, the obvious claim would be against the rear-ending driver. With few exceptions, the rear-ending driver is presumed to be at fault for the wreck. You would have a claim against that driver’s auto insurance. But what if the driver did not own the vehicle they were driving? In that case, you may have a claim against both the driver and the owner of the vehicle. In Florida, vehicles are considered Dangerous Instrumentalities and if an owner lends his/her car to someone else, the owner is responsible for the actions of the driver.
Did anything else contribute to the collision such as a poorly lit or marked construction zone? There are specific plans and rules that need to be followed when altering a traffic pattern for a construction zone. If those plans were not implemented properly, there may be a claim. What if neither the driver nor the owner of the other car that hit you has the proper insurance? In that case, you may have a claim against your own auto insurance company if you have what is called underinsured motorist coverage. The scenarios can become more complex if there are more than two vehicles involved.
We are familiar with all aspects of car accident cases in Jacksonville including all the various claims available to injured drivers. Highway collisions, parking lot crashes, neighborhood wrecks, we have seen them all. At Rosenberg & Calvin, P.A., we feel it is important to speak with an attorney to identify and protect your rights and to ensure you are compensated to the full extent of the law. Contact us today for a free consultation.