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West Tampa Car Accidents
While West Tampa is one of the nicest areas to live and work, it can also be dangerous for local residents, commuters, and tourists to drive because of the ever-growing population. In fact, the statistics for motor vehicle accidents are surprising and concerning. Driving anywhere is inherently dangerous, and most of us can expect to get in a few accidents during the course of our lives. However, it can be exceptionally frustrating when another driver causes the accident, and you're seriously injured.
When you need the help of an experienced West Tampa car accident lawyer, Morgan and Morgan is here to help by offering knowledge, sound advice, and excellent legal representation. We're here for you to lessen the burden of legal worries and financial concerns while you recover both emotionally and physically.
We know how vital getting financial compensation for injuries and losses is to car accident victims. Because of this, we pride ourselves on fighting aggressively to ensure our clients get what they need. You should not be left to pay for the expenses caused by a negligent driver, and we make it our goal to make the responsible parties accountable for their actions.
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How Do I File a Claim After an Accident in West Tampa?
If a negligent driver in West Tampa has injured you, you begin the claim process by filing with your insurance company. Florida is a no-fault insurance state, so you must meet certain requirements before having the ability to file against the negligent driver's insurance or against them personally in addition. We'll get to the particulars of that shortly.
It can be substantially beneficial to have legal counsel at this point, whether you're filing a claim against your own insurance policy or another party. State law dictates that you look to your own insurance company for help first before going after the responsible party. This should be done as soon as possible after the accident. If you have injuries, you're required to get medical treatment within 14 days of the accident to be able to recover compensation through personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.
Submit all the evidence you gathered concerning the accident and expenses, such as medical bills and records explaining the extent of your injuries. They'll also want to see wage records that show how much income you lost from missing work.
When Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against a Third Party in West Tampa?
When you've been seriously hurt in an accident that wasn't your fault, your PIP insurance policy might not be enough to cover the expenses. In that case, and you meet the requirements for stepping out of the no-fault system, you can file a third-party claim against the other driver's insurance. Damages such as pain and suffering and other non-economic are recoverable. These damages are not available using PIP insurance.
To be successful, you have to prove the other driver was negligent, and their negligence directly resulted in your injuries and losses. Eligibility for this type of claim or lawsuit requires you to meet one of the following conditions:
- You've suffered significant and permanent loss of function of a body part
- You sustained a permanent injury that is unlikely to get better (confirmed by a doctor)
- You've suffered substantial and permanent scarring or disfigurement
- A loved one died due to the accident
If you suffered injuries that meet this threshold, then you're not limited to your own PIP policy limitations. In instances of severe injuries and losses, it's vital to have a knowledgeable car accident lawyer representing you. Morgan and Morgan's attorneys are vetted and battle-tested.
Frequently when severe injuries and losses are on the table, insurance companies will fight hard to mitigate how much they pay, even if their policyholder is the cause. Medical expenses from catastrophic injuries like those described above can be substantial. Typically, pain and suffering and other losses are calculated by multiplying medical expenses by a factor usually ranging between one and five. That can mean the insurance company stands to lose a tremendous amount of money.
In these scenarios, they'll often try to minimize your injuries or even argue that some treatments weren't needed; therefore, they shouldn't have to pay for them. Validating treatment and demonstrating the severity of injuries may require professional legal intervention. Fortunately, your Morgan and Morgan car accident lawyer will have access to the type of industry professionals that can do this. For example, we may need an expert medical witness to verify your treatments were reasonable and necessary. Additionally, an expert medical witness can attest to the severity of your injuries and how they have and will impact your life moving forward.
All of these factors can play into how much compensation you will receive. When your future is on the line, it's critical to hire legal counsel that understands the games insurance companies play and how to combat them.
What Are the Most Hazardous Areas to Drive in the West Tampa Area?
Intersections are among the most hazardous areas to drive across the board, not just in the West Tampa area. Indeed, over 50% of all fatal and injury collisions occur in or near intersections. The citizen-led activist safety group, All for Transportation, released a list in 2018 of Hillsborough County's top 10 most treacherous intersections as follows:
- Sheldon Road, Waters Ave. W., Tampa
- Anderson Road, Waters Ave. W., Tampa
- Waters Ave. W., Hanley Road, Town' N' Country
- Hillsborough Ave., Sheldon Road, Town' N' Country
- US 301, Gibsonton Drive, Riverview
- Waters Ave. W, Himes Ave. N., Tampa
- US 301, Big Bend Road, Riverview
- Bruce B Downs Blvd., Fletcher Ave. E., Tampa
- Bloomingdale Ave., Bell Shoals Road, Brandon
- Bloomingdale Ave., Providence Road, Riverview
The Tampa area is one of the fastest-growing metro regions in the nation. With the swelling population, car accidents are also bound to grow. A further list of the 30 worst intersections was compiled using FDOT crash data, posted below:
US 19 @ Curlew Rd., Palm Harbor
US 19 @ Gulf to Bay Blvd., Clearwater
US 19 @ Tampa Rd, Palm Harbor
US 19 @ Drew St., Clearwater
US 19 @ S. Belcher Rd., Clearwater
US 19 @ East Bay Dr., Largo
US 92 @ I 275, Tampa
SR 589 @ SR 580, Town' N' Country
SR 60 @ Brandon Town Center Dr., Brandon
SR 582 @ 30th St., Tampa
US 301 @ Gibsonton Dr., Riverview
US 92 @ Cherokee Ave, Tampa
US 301 @ Progress Blvd., Brandon
US 19 @ Park Blvd. N., Pinellas Park
CR 1 @ Ridge Rd., New Port Richey
Dale Mabry Hwy @ Waters Ave., Tampa
SR 574 @ I 275, Tampa
US 41 @ SR 54, Land O' Lakes
US 19 @ Main St., Dunedin
US 19 @ E Tarpon Ave., Tarpon Springs
SR 686 @ 34th St. N., Clearwater
SR 686 @ Starkey Rd., Largo
US 301 @ Big Bend Rd., Riverview
SR 60 @ Falkenburg Rd., Tampa
I 275 @ E. Busch Blvd., Tampa
SR 688 @ Starkey Rd., Largo
I 75 @ Big Ben Rd., Riverview
CR 584 @ Hanley Rd., Town 'N' Country
I-275 @ 22nd Ave., N, St. Petersburg
What Are the Causes of Most Motor Vehicle Collisions in West Tampa?
The vast majority (94%) of motor vehicle collisions are due to driver error. A vehicle malfunction causes just 2%, and another 2% is the consequence of environmental issues. Here are the top causes of car accidents in West Tampa:
Distracted driving - Distracted driving has been occurring for as long as there have been cars on the road. However, with the invention of cell phones, drivers have even more temptation to pay attention to other things than the road. It's estimated that about 660,000 drivers in the U.S. are using their phones while they should be paying attention to driving at any given time. 1 in 5 drivers admits to texting as they drive. Each year, 3,170 fatalities are the result of distracted driving. In Florida, it is a primary offense to text and drive, and police can issue citations if they suspect a driver is texting while operating their vehicle.
While cell phones are the dominant form of distraction, drivers can be in error if they're distracted by other things like eating, rummaging around in a bag, or even rubbernecking because of another accident on the road. Suppose you suspect a negligent driver injured you because of distracted driving. In that case, it may be possible to uncover evidence of this, such as subpoenaing their phone records.
Speeding - Speeding continues to be a leading factor in traffic fatalities and injuries. Excessive speeding eliminates the amount of time a driver has to react to hazards on the road and therefore avoid a crash. Speeding also lessens the ability of roadway safety structures like guardrails, concrete barriers, and median dividers to protect occupants. In 2020, speeding was a factor in 29% of motor vehicle fatalities, killing 11,258 individuals. That accounts for 30 lives lost a day. Speeding is not just exceeding the posted speed limit. If a driver is going too fast for weather conditions, they may be liable if they cause someone else harm. Young male drivers are the most likely age and gender demographic to be speeding at the time of collisions.
Impaired driving - Driving while under the influence of alcohol remains one of the biggest safety concerns on U.S. roads. Unfortunately, the number of deaths and injuries caused by someone else's poor decisions isn't improving. In 2020, 11,654 people died as a result of alcohol-impaired driving. Unfortunately, you're more likely to get involved with a drunk driver if you live in an urban area like West Tampa. Florida has an unusually high number of impaired driving fatalities, with four out of 50 crashes occurring in our state. While drunk drivers have to face criminal consequences, they can also be held accountable by filing a personal injury case. Our car accident lawyers can help.
Neglecting traffic laws - Most traffic offenses, including aggressive driving, can be summed up as ignoring traffic laws. Anytime a driver commits offenses that endanger other individuals and their property, they may be liable for the results of their actions. Here are a few examples of traffic violations that can result in a car accident:
- Failing to use signals
- Following other vehicles too closely
- Changing lanes erratically
- Driving where prohibited (on sidewalks, medians, and shoulder of the road)
- Passing where prohibited
- Failure to yield right of way
- Making improper turns
- Failing to obey traffic signs, signals, traffic officers, and safety zone laws
- Exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for road conditions
Environmental conditions - The ability to drive safely can be greatly impacted by environmental conditions such as wind speed, rain, and visibility. While Florida's weather is fantastic for much of the year, we do have a lot of thunderstorm activity, not to mention the effects of tropical storms. These factors can make it difficult to see the hazards up ahead, which may lead to swerving and hard braking, leading to an accident. By reducing speed to accommodate the weather, some accidents can be avoided altogether. When drivers ignore obvious threats from the environment and drive as usual, they may be found at fault for an accident they cause.
Driving while tired - In 2019, there were 697 traffic fatalities linked to drowsy driving. We're all aware of the adverse effects of driving while under the influence, but driving while too tired can be just as deadly. When overly fatigued, drivers may have a hard time focusing on the road, not to mention falling asleep. While Florida doesn't criminally charge individuals for drowsy driving, they may get a ticket for reckless driving and not following traffic laws. In instances where a drowsy driver causes you injury, the fact that they received a ticket can help shore up your case against them.
Contact Morgan and Morgan's Personal Injury Attorneys After a West Tampa Car Accident
Whether you're having disputes with your insurance company or need to file a third-party claim or personal injury lawsuit, it's important to work with a qualified attorney. We understand that you need time to get better. Your West Tampa car accident lawyers can assume the responsibilities of watching deadlines, making phone calls, sending emails, investigating, and gathering evidence while you recover. We only collect payment if we win, so contact us today for a free case evaluation.