Car Accidents Are Common and Increasing in Number
For those of us who have lived in Florida for a long time, navigating the roads and their traffic is almost second nature. We may not notice things tourists see in our local drivers (and ourselves) simply because we’re used to it. While there is nothing wrong with comfort and familiarity in theory, becoming too comfortable and familiar on the roads can lead to disastrous consequences. For example, if you are the type of driver to zone out the second you get on the highway, you are likelier to miss crucial cues from your environment and those around you to avoid collisions. You may also feel more comfortable engaging in risky driving habits and maneuvers, especially on familiar roads. At that point, the behavior becomes negligence, and it puts others at serious risk.
Terrified tourists and statistics agree — we see an unusual amount of dangerous driving in Broward County, and a worrying number of collisions. In first 11 days of 2023, there were 158 accidents in Broward County alone, leading to 108 injuries.
With such high numbers, no motorist — no matter their experience or skill level — should assume they can always avoid a collision. After all, they’re called accidents for a reason. Keeping a healthy sense of caution and alertness are great ways to mitigate your chances, but if the worst happens anyways and you end up seriously injured, you should know what to do then, too.
Worrying statistics show just how dangerous South Florida is
Our car accidents aren’t just frequent — they’re deadly. A toxic recipe of distracted and negligent driving and overcrowding means our state actually owns six of the ten deadliest roadways in the country. While collisions can happen anywhere (and Florida is, by no means, the only state with a high number of distracted drivers), our dense population just makes it that much likelier to happen, well, here. From texting to failing to check blind spots to tailgating to weaving lanes and more, scores of negligent Florida drivers are making our daily commute more of a battle for survival than a mundane trip.
Things have only gotten worse since the pandemic. 2021 was an especially grisly, tragic year for Florida car accident fatalities. On average for just half of that year, traffic fatalities across the country were up about 12%. In Florida alone, though, they were up 17%. Researchers posit everyone’s return to daily driving after quarantine is a big reason why 2021 was so deadly; people were not only either stressed or excited about driving again, they were also just plain rusty.
All the data seems to support this theory. Indeed, 2022 wasn’t as deadly as 2021, showing people have — somewhat — calmed down on our roads. That being said, we still lost over 3,000 lives to fatal accidents, and we don’t know the number of serious injuries amongst victims who didn’t pass away. So, even though the numbers may be a bit smaller, no driver should be letting their guard down or their attention slip behind the wheel. Not every accident is preventable, but many are, simply by focusing and exercising reasonable caution.
What to do after a Fort Lauderdale car accident
Collisions of any sort are traumatic, confusing, and often painful events. When you are the victim, and you are suddenly hit and injured out of the blue, it can be even harder to get your bearings and have the first clue of how to handle the situation. While every accident is different, there are some baseline steps to know to help you get on the road to recovery as quickly as possible:
- Stay on the scene to avoid being accused of a hit-and-run (even if you were the one hit).
- Contact the police. Officers will not only fully investigate and report on the accident, they will also take control of the scene and make sure everyone gets the help they need.
- Exchange any necessary information and try to take note of names, plates, locations, witnesses, and anything else that may help your case. If you are too injured for this step, an officer may do it for you.
- Seek medical attention as quickly as possible regardless of your injuries and keep a record of who you see, what they say, and anything you’re prescribed. All this information helps your attorney prove your side.
- Speaking of, contact an experienced personal injury attorney (preferably one with a specialty in car accidents) so they can get started on your case as soon as possible. They can also guide you through your specific process and help where possible, especially if you were unable to do any of the above. The best way to protect your rights and finances after an accident is to work with and trust a hired legal professional.
- Contact your insurance company. Not only do they need to know if you’ve been in an accident, but they may also be able to help cover some of your damages. Do NOT speak with the other side’s insurance company no matter what you are told. If they call, be polite and take down their information, but make sure to make no official statements or possible agreements. Their job is to avoid paying victims as much as possible.
It’s understandable to be daunted — or even frustrated — at the amount of information you are expected to record and track when all you want to do is recover with your loved ones, but we ask victims to take these steps to help avoid as many complications with their case as possible. Everything from the type of crash to who was wearing a seatbelt to the injuries sustained affects the final verdict, so making everything accounted for and airtight prevents curveballs and other unexpected (and unwanted) results.
Remember that Florida is a comparative negligence state, which means the amount a victim can receive after an accident is contingent upon their share in causing the collision. As cruel as it is, the defendant and their insurance companies will do everything in their power to try and fault you for your injuries because it means less of a monetary loss for them. That’s why having a skilled personal injury attorney on your side can make all the difference; they fight for you and your compensation on your behalf while you focus on recovering.
At Yeboah Law Group, our team of highly experienced car accident personal injury attorneys are committed to holding negligent drivers accountable for their actions and preventing as many victims as possible from financial ruin. With offices all over the Miami-Dade area in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Key West, and Boca Raton, we are proud to serve as many South Floridians as we can. If you have recently been injured in a car accident, even if you fear you may have helped cause it, reach out to us immediately or use our contact form for representation you can trust. No one should have to pay a dime for the negligent acts of another.