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St. Augustine, Florida, Auto Accident Injury Compensation Blog

Florida hit and run car accidents can be harder to recover for

Being the victim of a car accident is difficult. The stress that comes with the adrenaline rush during the crash often lingers after the fact, leaving one feeling tired and spent, emotionally and physically. Then, there's dealing with any injury that has occurred, which often means having to rely on others' help to get out of a vehicle, or to a medical facility. But what happens when one is left alone after an accident? When the other driver involved simply drives away, leaving the victim there to deal with the aftermath, the situation can become catastrophic.

In Florida, about one quarter of accidents involve a hit and run. While most of these only result in property damage, there are plenty of injury accidents in which one driver flees as well. In this situation, obviously the first thing to do is to make sure the injured victim is taken care of. Getting the person who was hurt medical attention is always first priority. But, anyone who witnessed the accident may want to think about writing down a license plate number or other descriptive information so that the potentially liable party may be found later.

Truck collision sends 2 to hospital

St. Augustine drivers know that Interstate 95 is a busy place. Being a main federal highway that stretches from Miami up to Boston, it is used by hundreds of thousands of vehicles, of all shapes and sizes. In St. John's County, one can often find large trucks hauling their goods both North toward Jacksonville and south to Miami. Add in the high speeds cars usually travel on a major highway like I-95, and some wet roads, and the chances of a serious collision can increase significantly.

Unfortunately, this was the case recently when an older man in a Hyundai Elantra lost control of his vehicle and hit not one, but two, semi-tractor-trailers while traversing I-95 near St. Augustine. According to police, the 79-year-old attempted to pass a truck near the U.S. 1 exit in the southbound lanes, and swerved into the path of the truck after losing control. His Hyundai contacted the semi, then hit the median guardrail and continued into the northbound side of the divided highway. In doing so, the Elantra side-swiped a northbound tractor-trailer, causing that truck to crash.The wreck not only shut down the northbound lanes of I-95 for hours, but also sent two participants to the hospital, including the 79-year-old and the driver of the second truck, a 64-year-old man. Police cited the driver of the Hyundai for travelling at too high a speed given the conditions.

What is negligence in a car accident?

Any St Augustine resident who has been involved in a car accident understands the traumatic experience it can be. The adrenaline that shoots through the bloodstream during the event can leave one feeling absolutely drained afterwards, and that's disregarding any actual injuries suffered in the crash. Attempting to make sense of it is difficult, especially if serious injuries resulted. The question of "why me" can be even more pronounced if the accident was caused by someone else's negligence.

Many of us have heard the term negligence in common parlance, but it is important to understand that it has a very specific meaning when it comes to legal issues. It is generally a civil cause of action, or tort, and consists of several parts, or elements. It is these elements that have to be shown to have been present in order to generally hold someone else responsible for a victim's car accident injuries.

What happens when semi-trucks become automated?

If you are enamored with the prospect of being behind the wheel of a self-driving car, you are certainly not alone. Buyers are lining up in droves to purchase the Model S and the Model X from Tesla, the American automaker producing high-end, zero emission vehicles. The “semi-automatic” auto pilot function will guide the car with minimal input from the driver. So the next time you pass a Tesla on the street or on I-95, you may wonder who’s driving: the car or the driver.

If you are fearful of such vehicles, consider this: just like the race to make autonomous cars mainstream,  automated trucks may be seen on American highways in short order. In fact, a scene out of the movie “Logan” gives us a glimpse into the future.

Is distracted driving really that dangerous?

The answer to the question above is yes. Distracted driving is dangerous and it is linked to thousands of fatal crashes every year. Unfortunately, it is also very common on Florida roads.

According to recent statistics, Florida ranks as the second-worst state for driving while distracted. Despite these and other upsetting statistics that paint a grim picture of the effects of distracted driving, people still engage in various distracted driving behaviors, including those we list below.

Regulation violations can cause truck and bus accidents

Every year, state and federal regulators and safety organizations do what they can to improve the culture of the trucking industry and minimize accidents. Some of the most visible efforts are those conducted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. They conduct special inspections at sites around the country at different times. One occurred this week.

The focus of these road checks is to see how well trucking companies and truck drivers are following the rules and regulations. During the course of the latest 72-hour initiative, inspectors paid special attention to whether loads were properly secured. Results of the blitz are pending, but last year, critical violations that could contribute to serious or fatal accidents led inspectors to order thousands of trucks and drivers off the road.

I've been pulled over for drunk driving: how does my future look?

When you see the lights of a police car flashing behind you, it can be one of the most unnerving moments you experience in life. Making matters even scarier is if police suspect you have been driving while under the influence.

In Florida, you will find some of the most stringent DUI-related laws throughout the United States. Thus, your first question after police have stopped you for drunk driving is how much trouble you have just gotten yourself into. Fortunately, if you are facing a charge of driving under the influence, you have the right to fight back through the criminal justice system.

Who's eligible for Florida victim compensation in a hit-and-run?

Here's a hypothetical situation. You're driving in the environs around St. Augustine and another vehicle crashes into you and leaves the scene. How will you get full compensation for damage and possible injuries you've suffered? As we noted in a previous post, this amounts to a hit-and-run accident. No one imagines that such a thing will happen to them, but such collisions do occur. It's hard to call them accidents since the perpetrator has chosen to commit a crime by fleeing.

In some states, that might pretty much be the end of things. Authorities might try to locate the other driver and they might succeed. Even if they do, though, there's a good chance the individual will not have even the minimum insurance required by law. In Florida, it might be possible to recover from what's called the Crimes Compensation Trust Fund. An experienced attorney can help decipher what's possible.

What can happen after a pedestrian accident?

If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident (regardless of whether you are the pedestrian or the driver), you may have a number of questions about liability and fault. Essentially, you want to know who could be held accountable and whether it will result in payment of medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and other costs associated with an accident.

Unfortunately, there are no simple answers to these questions. They depend on a number of factors, such as whether the driver (or the pedestrian) was intoxicated, whether the driver was speeding, whether the pedestrian was in a marked crosswalk, and whether any weather hazards contributed to the crash. 

Top safety tips for Memorial Day weekend

It may be difficult to comprehend how quickly 2017 is progressing, but Memorial Day weekend is upon us. Most expect the I-95 corridor to see a great deal of activity this weekend as people flock to holiday destinations. AAA expects nearly 40 million people to travel at least 50 miles for the holiday, with many people driving.

Because of the higher traffic volumes, the possibility of accidents occurring increases, so naturally drivers must be more careful. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Nevertheless, following these tips can reduce the chance of being in a crash. 

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