Florida is full of visitors and tourists who come for business, holidays, and vacations. An average of 11.8 million tourists and business persons visit the state each year. The huge number of visitors increases the number of vehicles on the road and translates to more accidents. Fatal crashes are accidents that result in catastrophic injuries and the death of the involved parties.
Most fatal crashes involve negligence from one or multiple parties. If someone's negligence or wrongdoing took away the life of your loved one in a fatal crash, you could seek compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit. The loss of a loved one could be devastating, especially if you have to battle the liable parties for compensation.
Seeking guidance from a competent personal injury attorney is one of the wisest decisions you can make when filing a wrongful death claim. Our top-notch attorney from Clay County Personal Injury Attorney will help you collect relevant information and represent you in the claim to ensure the best outcome.
Overview of Fatal Crash Statistics in Florida
Car accidents are the leading cause of death in Florida every year. The large number of vehicles that move on these roads every day is a significant contributing factor to the collisions. While some dates have a higher number of fatal crashes among teenage drivers, this is not the case in Florida. Florida has a large population of the retired population. Therefore, most of these car accidents are caused by the elderly. Florida is one of the most dangerous states for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.
According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle Department, approximately 400,000 car crashes occur every year as per the 2018 survey. Every driver and road user in Florida is expected to operate safely while obeying all traffic regulations. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Individuals tend to drive while under drug influence, failing to obey traffic rules and operating defective vehicles. All of these factors contribute to the occurrence of fatal crashes. A fatal accident leaves behind a trail of fatalities and many victims with catastrophic injuries. If you or your loved one is a victim of a negligent catastrophic injury, you are entitled to get compensation by filing a personal injury or wrongful death.
In 2017, an average of 254,310 individuals suffered severe injuries while 3,116 died from serious accidents in Florida. Although the number slightly declined from a survey done in 2016, it is still significant compared to other states in the US. Overall fatal crashes in Florida make up 6.2% of all crashes in the US. Also, deaths from Florida fatal crashes are 9.1% of the total.
- When accounting for the population of vehicles and miles traveled. Overall, Florida's fatal crashes are higher than the expected average.
- 32% of deaths from the fatal crashes was for drivers and passengers in car accidents
- SUV and pick up accidents account to 18% of all deaths in Florida
- The number of large truck accident occupants that succumb to the injuries of fatal accident each year account for 1% of total fatalities
- Motorcyclists who die in fatal crashes average to 19% of total death on Florida roads
- For total deaths caused by car accidents, 21% accounted for the death of pedestrians.
The Leading Causes of Fatal Vehicle Crashes
There is a wide variety of factors that could cause fatal road accidents, most of which are preventable. Some of the most common causes of these accidents include:
Statistics of Fatal Crash Causes
While we all make mistakes at some point, some mistakes have severe consequences than others. Factors involving driver error cause the most serious types of accidents in Florida. At least 94% of all fatal crashes occur as a result of driver error. Therefore, most of these accidents could be prevented when the drivers exercise reasonable caution while operating. The following are some of the most common forms of driver error which contribute highly to fatal collisions:
Distracted driving is a common cause of fatal collisions in Florida. A driver is considered distracted if they are engaging in any activity that takes their mental and physical concentration off the road. Some forms of distraction are texting while driving, which is illegal in Florida. According to the National Safety Council, at least 330,000 injuries result from texting while driving collisions.
Other distractions that affect most drivers and increase the prevalence of accidents include talking to other people in the vehicle, reaching out to the navigation system, or even eating and drinking while driving. If your spouse or relative is a victim of an accident resulting from distracted driving, the vehicle’s driver may be held accountable for your injuries.
Fatal Crashes Resulting from Drunk Driving Behavior
With most people retiring and visiting Florida to have fun, the prevalence of drunk driving is increased. In the United States, approximately 33% of all fatal crashes are caused by drunk driving. In Florida, there are two forms of drunk driving. If a driver's blood alcohol content is 0.08% or higher when driving or their driving conduct is impaired by alcohol or drugs.
Intoxication impairs a driver's ability to react and make important decisions while operating a motor vehicle. Driving under drug or alcohol is already a serious offense. Therefore, if you can prove that drunk driv9ng was the cause of your accident, you can recover compensation for injuries or wrongful death benefits for a deceased relative.
Fatal Crashes in Florida Due to speeding and Aggressive driving
The normal speed limit in different sections of the road is indicated to help travelers arrive at their destinations safely. When drivers choose not to follow the rules and exceed the speed limits, the chances of getting into a fatal collision are high. Speeding makes it difficult for drivers to stop the vehicle or safely navigate corners in case of an emergency on the road. When a vehicle travels at high speed, accidents such as rollover crashes, head-on collisions, and rear-end collisions are common. Exceeding the legal speed limit contributes significantly to road fatalities.
Reckless driving is one of the causes of fatal crashes on the roads of Florida. A driver is considered reckless driving if their behavior displays complete disregard for others' safety. Some drivers swerve from one lane to another or tailgate vehicles to avoid stopping in heavy traffic. Since reckless driving involves high speed, it often results in injury or death of multiple individuals. At least 44,000 injuries and 800 fatalities are reported from reckless driving behavior in Florida.
While on the road, drivers can take these actions to help reduce the prevalence of fatal accidents:
- Avoiding any activities that would distract their attention from the road
- Wait before entering an intersection
- Avoid driving too close to another vehicle
- Yielding the right of way where necessary
- Avoiding the use of alcohol while driving
There are numerous claims filed by victims of different car accidents in Florida. Proving that another driver made a mistake that caused your accident is not easy. Therefore, you need to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to guide you through a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
While 94% of all fatal accidents result from driver error or negligence, some are caused by mechanical faults. Mechanical failure takes away the driver's control over the direction and speed of the vehicle. Federal statistics show that mechanical failure accounts for 12% of all fatal crashes in Florida. Many mechanical defects can cause accidents, including:
Faulty brakes are a major contributing factor to fatal rear-end collisions. The vehicle's inability to stop was necessary for it to ram into another car or object on the road. According to a survey done by the NHTSA, break failure accounts for 22% of all accidents that are caused by mechanical failure. The common contributing factors to brake-related car accidents are faulty brake lines that cause leakage of the brake fluid. This compromises the brake function and makes it difficult for a driver to stop the vehicle.
Drivers and vehicle owners are expected to take regular maintenance and inspect the vehicles to prevent this issue. When a car is taken for servicing, the mechanics can detect a potential issue with the brake and reduce instances of brake failure related accidents. Failure to do this, they could be held liable for the injuries or deaths resulting from these accidents.
Tire failure causes a high number of fatal accidents in Florida every year. According to NHTSA, when and tire-related problems account for 35% of all mechanical failure related accidents. Some of the problems that may arise with the wheels or tires are the tire blowouts and worn tires. A tire blowout could be as a result of an over or under-inflated tire. Tire blowouts reduce a driver's ability to control the direction and speed of a vehicle.
Tires provide suspension and vehicle grip on the road. Over time, tires begin to wear out, and if a proper replacement is not done, the tires may slip and cause fatal accidents, especially in Florida rainy seasons. Regular replacement of tires before they get completely worn out helps maintain optimal tire pressure and function. Poorly aligned tires are more likely to wear. Therefore, drivers are expected to check for alignment and correct where necessary regularly.
Steering and Suspension Failure
Steering and suspension related problems account for 3% of the mechanical failure accidents according to the NHTSA. These issues are not easy to detect after the accident has occurred. Steering and suspension problems can cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle during emergencies. Transmission and engine problems could prevent you from properly accelerating the vehicle or slowing down. This leaves the driver stranded in the middle of the road with oncoming traffic.
The only way a driver can prevent steering g and suspension issues is by regular maintenance. If you suffer injury or lose a loved one in an accident that resulted from the failure of the steering, you can file a compensation claim against the driver or owner of the vehicle.
Although vehicle engines are designed to operate well with minimal failure, some problems could arise and cause a breakdown. Engine failure could pose a great danger, especially when the vehicle fails in the middle of the road with fast-moving traffic. Drivers are expected to keep an eye on the vehicle's temperature. When the cooling system is not functioning properly, the engine will overheat and fail. Also, lack of oil, which acts as lubrication to the engine, could cause failure.
Defective Windshield Wipers in Rainy Seasons
You should never underestimate the importance of windshield wipers when it comes to preventing accidents in Florida. When it is raining, the water drops make it difficult for a driver to see ahead. The windshield wipers play a crucial role in eliminating the debris and water droplets to improve visibility. Worn out wipers are less effective in eliminating the debris. Leaving strands of rainwater could block the driver's sight and cause a crash, especially when it happens suddenly.
Drivers are responsible for checking their windshield wipers regularly to identify possible damage. This will help them get the parts repaired or replaced to avoid accidents resulting from poor visibility. A driver could be held liable for your injuries or wrongful death of your loved one if defective windshield wipers cause an accident.
Fatal Accidents Resulting from Poor Road and Weather Conditions
Fatal car accidents could result from a combination of numerous factors, some of which involve the weather and road conditions. Poor road conditions and designs result in at least 2 million severe injuries and 22,000 fatalities—drivers in Florida benefit from operating under warm and sunny weather for long and short distances. Florida offers local and tourist drivers the beauty of coastlines and remarkable natural features. However, the abundance of traffic on the streets and highways leads to high incidences of vehicle collisions.
On top of the heavy traffic, adverse weather conditions can reduce visibility, increasing the number of crashes. Drivers can avoid accidents resulting from poor visibility by maintaining their lights and windshield wipers in good condition.
Also, poorly designed roads are a significant contributing factor to fatal accidents and injuries. Poor road designs can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle easily. Roads that have poor drainage could have dangerous levels of water that ruin car tires and wheels. Other poor conditions that can be a contributor to the occurrence of fatal car accidents include:
- Lack of rumble strips on the highways
- Potholes and debris on the roads
- Untreated roads during winter
- Missing, damaged or invisible road signs
- Poor traffic control in construction zones.
The state of Florida is responsible for maintaining roads in proper working conditions. In places the roads are damaged and are waiting for repair, the state has a duty toward road users of the possible damage. Failure to solve obvious road hazards and warn motorists is regarded as negligence. Therefore, if you or your loved one is a victim of injuries from an accident caused by poor road conditions, you can recover compensation for injuries from relevant state authorities. Filing a claim against the government can be quite complicated. Therefore, seeking guidance from a personal injury attorney is crucial.
Injuries that have High Occurrence Rates in Florida Fatal Car Accidents
Most fatal car accidents in Florida result in the death of the involved parties. Approximately 1.3 million people die each year in Florida from fatal car crashes. However, if you are lucky to survive the accident, you may sustain the following catastrophic. At least 50 million individuals disdain severe bodily injury from these accidents. Some of the injuries include:
Traumatic Brain Injuries from Fatal Crashes
Fatal car accidents are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury in Florida. At least 90,000 suffer TBI following Fatal Crashes. A TBI could occur from the sudden strike or violent shaking of the head. Brain injuries resulting from these accidents are often severe and can cause permanent brain damage. After an accident, you can identify the occurrence of brain injury if you experience a poor vision, severe headache confusion and slurred speech. The brain controls numerous functions in the body. Therefore, an injury to this part can take a toll on your life.
Spinal Cord Injuries
An injury to the spine is one of the traumatizing injuries you could suffer from a car accident. 20% of all fatal accidents in Florida result in Severe Spinal Cord Injury. Injury to the spine varies from mild to severe, depending on the amount of impact to your back. Complete severing of the spine can leave you wholly or partially paralyzed. Such an injury will render you incapable of doing simple tasks, and you have to depend on others.
Internal Organ Damage
Each year about 80,000 individuals suffer internal organ damage from fatal crashes in Florida. Injury to the internal organs is not easily detected but is the most fatal. This could be in the form of internal bleeding or damage to the internal organs. Seeking prompt medical care is one of how you can ensure early detection and treatment of the injuries.
Injuries that result from fatal accidents are likely to have a significant effect on your life. Fortunately, you can recover compensation by filing a lawsuit against the liable parties.
Pursuing Compensation After a Fatal Crash in Florida
Fatal crashes often leave a train of severely injured victims and fatalities. If your loved one dies in a collision caused by negligence, you can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. Since your dead spouse, relative or child, cannot pursue a personal injury claim, you can recover compensation in Florida wrongful death lawsuit. Seeking compensation in a wrongful death claim could be quite complicated since the main witness of the event is not alive to give their testimony. Therefore, enlisting the guidance of a personal injury attorney is vital.
An act of negligence when the defendant breached the duty of care they had towards the victim. A duty of care is a responsibility that each individual has to ensure they do not injure others. Also, you need to show the breach of duty from the defendant caused the victim's death. In Florida, you are required to file a wrongful death claim within four years from the accident date.
If you are successful in proving liability for the accident, you can recover compensation for all the costs incurred from the victim's demise. This will include medical bills you incurred, death and funeral expenses, and lost financial support from the deceased.
Find a Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
Most fatal car accidents result in serious bodily injuries or even death. Such a crash can cost you thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost wages and earning capacity, and emotional pain. Fortunately, you do not have to suffer another person's mistake, and if your accident was caused by negligence or recklessness, you could seek compensation in a personal injury claim.
If your loved one died from a negligent fatal crash in Florida, you could file a wrongful death claim against the liable parties. With the hundreds of unsuccessful personal injury claims in Florida, guidance from a competent personal injury attorney will be crucial for your case. At Clay County Personal Injury Attorney, we will help you deal with aggressive insurance companies and ensure you receive maximum compensation for your injuries. Contact us today at 904-494-8242 from any location in Clay County, Florida, and allow us to guide you through the claim.