If you have been injured in a car accident, it can be difficult to know whether you are entitled to compensation for your losses. In many cases, figuring out exactly what happened can be a challenge, and getting a clear picture of your legal rights may require a thorough investigation.
However, there are certain types of issues that, generally speaking, will give rise to liability. Here are 10 common mistakes that often lead to car accident claims:
1. Drunk Driving
Drunk drivers are some of the most dangerous drivers on Florida’s roads. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly one out of every three fatal accidents involves a drunk driver.
2. Texting Behind the Wheel
Studies have found that texting behind the wheel can be just as dangerous as driving after you’ve had too much to drink. Handheld cell phone use is a factor in hundreds of thousands of car accidents every year.
3. Giving in to Other Driving Distractions
Eating, drinking, fiddling with the GPS and talking to backseat passengers are other forms of distractions that commonly lead to accidents as well.
Speeding gives drivers less time to react and increases a vehicle’s stopping distance. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “[s]peeding is one of the most prevalent factors contributing to traffic crashes.”
5. Rear-Ending Another Vehicle
Rear-end collisions are often the result of driver negligence. Distractions, speeding and other factors can all cause drivers to rear-end cars in front of them.
6. Changing Lanes Suddenly or Erratically
Drivers who do not look before changing lanes contribute to a significant portion of Florida auto accidents as well. Additionally, reckless drivers, commuters rushing to work and tourists can all be prone to making sudden (and dangerous) lane changes.
7. Falling Asleep Behind the Wheel
According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than a third of drivers nationwide say that they have fallen asleep behind the wheel. On the highway, even dozing for a few seconds can mean driving hundreds of yards while completely out of control, so it is no surprise that drowsiness behind the wheel is responsible for over 1,500 deaths each year.
8. Failing to Account for Weather Conditions
Sudden rain storms can wreak havoc on Florida’s roads. Drivers who do not slow down when it rains often put themselves and others at risk for serious injuries.
9. Failing to Properly Secure Cargo
From 18-wheelers to SUVs with bikes and suitcases strapped to their roofs, vehicles with unsecured cargo often cause dangerous highway accidents as well.
10. Leaving the Scene of the Accident
Finally, while not necessarily evidence of fault, leaving the scene of an accident (which happens with alarming frequency here in Florida) often suggests that a driver believes he or she is to blame.
It is important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and you should never make assumptions about your legal rights without first speaking with an experienced attorney. If you have been injured in an accident and would like to find out if you have a claim, we invite you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Speak With a Crestview Auto Accident Attorney at Powell, Powell & Powell, P.A.
At Powell, Powell & Powell, P.A. we represent auto accident victims and their families in claims for personal injuries and wrongful death. To speak with an attorney about your claim, please call (850) 682-2757 or contact us online today.