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St. Augustine, Florida, Auto Accident Injury Compensation Blog

Hit-and-run accidents in Florida down in 2017 from 2016

Imagine this: you are taking a quick trip from your home to the store to buy milk. You stop at a red light when you are rear-ended by an inattentive driver. Your car is seriously damaged, and you're pretty sure you've suffered some injuries that need medical attention. However, instead of staying at the scene of the crash to at least exchange contact information, the other driver hits the gas pedal and speeds away. Hit-and-run accidents like these, according to recent statistics, may be on the downswing, but it is still a serious issue that deserves our attention.

According to statistics from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, statewide in 2017 there were 98,225 hit-and-run crashes. This is down from the 101,574 hit-and-run collisions in Florida in 2016, but up from the 85,161 hit-and-run accidents the state saw in 2014. In those accidents in 2017 statewide 1,184 people suffered serious bodily injuries, and 177 people lost their lives. Specifically, in St. Johns County in 2017, there were 777 hit-and-run accidents. Of those, six people suffered serious bodily injuries, and four people lost their lives.

Truck accident victims in Florida can seek legal help

Florida is well-known for its orange groves and other citrus fruit crops. These crops are sold to manufacturers for juicing or canning, or sold directly to supermarkets for sale to patrons. It is a big industry in the state, and part of this industry involves transporting the fruits from Florida to other states in the nation. Oftentimes, this is done through the use of semi-trucks.

In fact, semi-trucks carrying any variety of goods are a common sight on Florida highways. However, they do pose a danger. Truck drivers are often incentivized financially to make as many deliveries as possible, as quickly as possible. This could lead them to drive while fatigued or drive aggressively. Unfortunately, these actions can cause a serious truck accident should the trucker strike another motorist.

Florida nurse renders aid to auto accident victim she struck

Interstate 95 stretches nearly the entire length of Florida and is one of the state's major thoroughfares. Not only are Floridians traveling on I-95 on a daily basis, but many tourists also travel on I-95 whether they are vacationing in St. Augustine, Miami or any point in between. However, this means that I-95 will also see its fair share of auto accidents.

The Florida Highway Patrol reports that a man, age 57, was seriously injured after being hit by an SUV on I-95. The man was operating pickup truck with a ladder in it. The ladder fell out of his vehicle, so he exited his vehicle to retrieve the ladder. At this point, a 36-year-old woman also driving on I-95. She tried not to strike the man, but ultimately crashed into him. The woman was a trauma nurse, and remained at the scene of the accident, giving the man medical aid until he could be taken to an area medical center.

The accuracy of a preliminary breath test isn't guaranteed

Drivers here in Florida and across the country are given the impression that breath tests administered on the side of the road are an accurate way of determining whether someone is drunk. These tests provide police officers with the probable cause they need to make a DUI arrest. Many people may even decide not to fight the charges since the preliminary breath test indicated that their blood alcohol concentration was at or above the state's legal limit of .08.

Perhaps you had a couple of drinks on your way home from work, but you never considered that you were too impaired to drive. You felt fine, but ended up getting pulled over for speeding or something else, and the officer suspected you of being impaired. After the preliminary breath test, he or she took you into custody on suspicion of DUI.

Popularity of SUVs may lead to fatal pedestrian accidents

It may go without saying that when it comes to a collision between a pedestrian in Florida and an automobile, the pedestrian is most likely to come off worse for wear. After all, the human body is simply no match for a vehicle weighing several tons. Auto-pedestrian accidents are tragic, and according to one government report, are on the rise.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2016 nearly 6,000 pedestrians lost their lives after being struck by a vehicle. Some of the pedestrians killed in 2016 may have been residents of Florida or visitors to the state. The NHTSA noted that this number is the worst since 1990. And, the reason behind this spike in pedestrian deaths may have to do with the types of vehicles on the roads.

Florida drivers should not multitask while behind the wheel

Multitasking might be a good attribute to have in the workplace, but it is not such a good idea to try to multitask while driving. Motorists in St. Augustine may be confident that they can eat, chat with other passengers or even use their cellphones while driving. Unfortunately, any of these actions could pose a danger to them and others on the road should an unexpected hazard develop.

To prevent an accident, a motorist must be able to detect a hazard, react appropriately and bring their car to a stop. The faster a car is going, the longer it will take to come to a complete stop. If a motorist is distracted while driving, they may not detect the hazard in enough time to react appropriately and stop their vehicle in time, leading to a distracted driving accident.

Semi-truck driver dies in crash on I-95 in Florida

Most motorists on Interstate 95 will be traveling alongside a commercial vehicle at some point during their journey. In addition, most people in Florida have seen stories on the nightly news where a semi-truck causes a catastrophic accident. However, as one recent incident shows, while semi-truck drivers sometimes cause accidents, it is not unknown for semi-truck drivers to be victims of crashes caused by other drivers.

A box truck driver was driving southbound on Interstate 95 when he lost control of his vehicle and struck the guardrail, which propelled him into the opposite lane of traffic. At that point, the box truck struck a semi-truck. Unfortunately, the driver of the semi-truck died, and the driver of the box truck suffered serious injuries.

Drunk driving crash in Florida ends in tragedy

There are many reasons why a person in St. Augustine might enjoy a beer, a glass of wine or a cocktail. They may be at happy hour after work, at a party, at a ball game or simply enjoying a night out on the town. However, not all motorists drink responsibly, and some may cause an accident.

For example, one fatal accident began when an officer saw a truck speed past him in a no-passing zone. The officer then saw the driver pass other vehicles "with a total disregard for public safety." The officer began following the vehicle and, when they reached the top of a hill, the vehicle collided with an SUV.

Who can be held liable in commercial vehicle accidents?

Businesses in Florida rely on semi-trucks to deliver their goods across the nation, making these large commercial vehicles a common sight on the state's highways. However, it takes a great deal of skill to handle one of these behemoth vehicles. One wrong move could lead to disaster. When a person is injured in a crash involving a commercial vehicle, they may incur substantial damages that they wish to recover through a personal injury lawsuit.

It is important for those who wish to pursue a lawsuit after a semi-truck accident to name all the possible defendants. The failure to name a defendant could result in a person recovering less in compensation than what they should have been due. Of course, whenever a person is involved in a truck accident, they may believe the truck driver was at fault and name the truck driver as a defendant. However, under a legal concept known as "vicarious liability," truck companies may also be at fault for truck accidents if the trucker was an employee of the company and the accident occurred during the normal course of business.

Florida is one of top states for hit-and-run crashes

When a motorist is in a car crash, certain steps are usually taken. The motorist will call for medical help, if necessary, call for the police to make an official report and exchange insurance information. While no one expects when they leave their homes that they will be involved in a car accident, the fact of the matter is that many people in St. Augustine are involved in car crashes every day.

However, what happens if a motorist is involved in a car crash and flees the scene without taking any of the aforementioned steps? This is known as a hit-and-run crash, and such situations can be very serious. In the best of circumstances, those involved in the accident suffer only vehicular damage but are otherwise unharmed. Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents have the potential to be deadly, and, according to one source, Florida sees some of the highest per capita rates of hit-and-run fatalities.

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