Located along the Gulf Coast just south of Tampa, Sarasota is one of the fastest growing communities in Florida. This growth has brought an increase in traffic, and as a result, car accidents are occurring with more frequency. In addition to property damage, these accidents often result in serious, even fatal injuries for those involved.
So where are some of the car accident hot spots in Sarasota located? According to an article posted on the Sarasota Herald/Tribune’s website, Bee Ridge/Beneva and Clark near I-75 is the most accident prone road in Sarasota County. Other locations that see higher than average accident rates include Clark Road from Catamaran Drive to I-75, Fruitville Road and Tuttle Avenue, Tamiami Trail/U.S. 41 and Bahia Vista Street, and Washington Boulevard/U.S. 301 and 17th Street.
Common Causes of Sarasota Car Accidents
In Sarasota, car accidents can happen for many reasons. Poor road conditions and adverse weather are two examples. However, the most common cause of car accidents in Sarasota is poor judgment and negligent behavior on the part of drivers.
Accidents resulting from a driver’s poor judgment or negligent behavior include those involving:
- Excessive speed
- Distracted driving
- Failing to obey traffic signs and signals
- Unsafe lane changes
- Reckless driving
- Impaired driving
Almost all of these accidents could have been avoided if the at-fault driver had been following traffic laws and shown more concern for the safety of others sharing the road. It only takes one poor decision to cause an accident that can turn a person’s life upside down forever.
Here’s Why You Need a Car Accident Lawyer in Sarasota
You don’t need a Sarasota car accident attorney to file a personal injury lawsuit with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, it’s the smart thing to do, especially if you aren’t familiar with Florida state law. Accident victims who hire attorneys to represent them generally experience far better outcomes than those who don’t.
A personal injury claim can be a lot more complicated than most people realize. An experienced Sarasota car accident lawyer can provide legal support and guidance in every phase of the personal injury claim process. This includes:
- Properly filing your claim in a timely manner.
- Collecting the evidence (medical records, expert testimony, police reports, etc.) to support your claim.
- Assigning an accurate dollar value to your damages.
- Negotiating on your behalf with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
- Representing you in court, if necessary. (The majority of claims are settled before they reach this stage.)
Attorneys understand that the expenses associated with accident injuries often place their clients in a financial bind, especially if they are unable to work because of their injuries. That’s why most car accident lawyers in Sarasota accept cases on a contingency basis. Clients don’t pay any up-front fees or retainers for representation; the attorney collects their fees as a (pre-determined) percentage of the final cash settlement.
Factors That Affect Car Accident Cases
There are several factors that can affect the outcome of a Sarasota car accident case. An experienced attorney will be able to help you avoid the mistakes that could reduce the total amount of compensation you can collect for your accident-related injuries.
Here are some of the factors that can impact the outcome of a car accident claim:
The severity of your injuries: How severe your injuries are and how they impact your life will have a big influence on the outcome of your case. To determine a settlement amount that fully compensates you for your injury-related losses, it’s important to understand the full extent of your injuries and how they will affect your life going forward.
Your degree of fault in the accident: Florida state law follows the rule of comparative liability. This means that the amount of compensation you can collect may be limited by your liability in the accident that caused your injuries. For instance, if you suffered $100,000 worth of damages in a car accident, and a judge determines that you shared 20% liability for the accident, you would only be able to collect $80,000 for your injuries. If you are found more than 50% responsible, you will not be able to recover damages.
The amount of financial damages you suffered: When determining how much money to seek in compensation, it’s important to not only consider your current financial losses but also the projected losses related to your injuries. These can include medications, therapy, medical devices, and long-term medical care, and other ongoing medical expenses. You’ll also want to consider any loss of income if you are unable to return to work or are unable to earn as much as you did before the accident due to your injuries.
What Damages Can I Recover from a Car Accident?
A few examples of the injuries that can result from a Sarasota car accident include:
- Bone fractures
- Cuts and lacerations
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
Any one of these injuries has the potential to leave a victim unable to work and require long-term treatment and care.
Damages are the losses stemming from your accident injuries; they can include economic and non-economic losses. Medical expenses (including anticipated expenses for ongoing medical treatment), lost wages, loss of employment (if you are unable to return to work), pain, suffering, and mental anguish are just a few of the damages that can be recovered in a Sarasota car accident case. To ensure you receive the total compensation you are owed for your injuries, it’s important to work with a Sarasota car accident attorney to identify all your accident-related damages.
Sarasota Car Accident FAQs
How Much Is My Sarasota Car Accident Injury Case Worth?
It’s impossible to predict how much money you’ll collect as a settlement for your claim. Every personal injury case is unique. How much you can collect depends on many factors, such as the extent of your injuries, any liability you share for the accident, the evidence supporting your claim, and the quality of your legal representation.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim After a Sarasota Car Accident?
Florida state law only gives you only two years from the date of your accident in which to file your claim. If you wait any longer, the courts will probably refuse to hear your case.
When Should I Contact a Sarasota Car Accident Attorney?
You should speak with a Sarasota car accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident. Don’t agree to any settlement or make any statements about the accident until after you’ve had a chance to talk to an attorney. They are here to protect your right to seek the total compensation you deserve for your accident-related damages.
Speak to a Sarasota Car Accident Attorney About Your Accident-Related Injuries
If you were injured in a Sarasota car accident that was the fault of another driver, your insurance policy may not cover the full costs of your accident-related damages. In this situation, Florida state law gives you the right to seek compensation for your damages by filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver and their insurance company. Sarasota car accident attorney Tania Rivas is here to help.
For almost 20 years, Tania Rivas and Rivas Law Group have helped clients in Sarasota and other Gulf Coast communities recover the full compensation they deserved for the damages caused by their accident-related injuries. She’s recovered millions in settlements for her clients, including a $1.4 million settlement for a woman who suffered spinal and traumatic brain injuries after being rear-ended by a dump truck.
Don’t wait too long to seek legal help! Contact Rivas Law Group online or call us at (877) 299-5539 today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case with Sarasota personal injury lawyer Tania Rivas.