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Auto Accident Attorney Hernando County, FL

Causes of Auto Accidents in Hernando County - Peck Law Firm

The auto accident attorneys at Elkin-Peck PLLC have been practicing law in Hernando County for quite some time, and through the years, our lawyers have watched areas like Brooksville, Spring Hill, Ridge Manor, and Weeki Wachee slowly grow into bustling sectors of Florida’s population. However, as these areas continue to grow, so do the number of auto accidents that occur each year. For example, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there were 2,312 auto accidents that occurred in Hernando County in 2017, which represents a 7.94% increase in car accidents from the 2,142 auto accidents that occurred in 2016. Of the accidents that occurred in 2017, there were 34 fatalities, a 36% increase from the previous year, and 2,178 people injured, a 4.06% increase from the previous year.

So, as these statistics indicate, the number of auto accidents that occur in Hernando County each year are steadily growing, but what is the underlying cause of some of these accidents? Moreover and more importantly, what should you do after being involved in an auto accident in Hernando County?

Causes of Auto Accidents in Hernando County

There are three primary factors that are indicative of some of the underlying causes of car accidents in Hernando County, based on the data from the FLHSMV: the age of the driver, whether any of the individuals involved in the accident were intoxicated, and the type of accident that occurred. 

Auto Accidents Involving Drugs and Alcohol in Hernando County

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is still a serious problem in the United States and in Florida. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there was roughly one person killed in drunk driving accident every 50 minutes in 2018, and in Florida, there were 5,125 crashes that involved an individual with alcohol in their system at the time of the accident in 2017. There were 668 crashes involving an individual with drugs in their system at the time of the accident, and as marijuana use continues to rise in the state of Florida, the number of accidents involving drivers impaired as a result of drug use can only be expected to rise. As drunk driving accident attorneys in Spring Hill, FL, the attorneys at Elkin-Peck have, unfortunately, had to witness the serious impact a drunk driving accident can have on accident victims, and if you have been involved in a drunk driving accident, you should always contact an attorney that specifically specializes in drunk driving auto accident claims.  

Auto Accidents in Hernando County Involving Young Drivers

It is widely known that younger drivers tend to get in more auto accidents than their older counterparts, and Hernando County’s population is not an exception to this rule. In 2017 in Hernando County, there were 142 auto accidents involving a driver age 15-17 years old, 305 car crashes involving a driver age 18-20 years old, and 329 car accidents involving a driver age 21-24 years old. This does not mean that these drivers are at-fault for each accident they were involved in, but it is telling that of the 2,312 auto accidents that occurred in Hernando County in 2017, roughly 34% of these accidents involved a driver under 25 years old. Some of these accidents could be a result of mere inexperience while others could be the result of negligence, but the point is that accidents involving a younger driver should be closely scrutinized. 

Auto Accidents by Type in Hernando County

There are certain types of auto accidents that are generally indicative of negligent behavior on the part of one of the parties involved in the accident. These types of accidents are significant, because they often result in catastrophic injuries, and they include motorcycle, pedestrian, and bicycle accidents as well as accidents involving a commercial vehicle (CMV) such as a semi truck. In 2017, the following accidents occurred in Hernando County according to the FLHSMV:

  • 103 motorcycle crashes that resulted in 5 fatalities and 101 injuries 
  • 59 pedestrian accidents that resulted in 4 fatalities and 54 injuries 
  • 35 bicycle accident that resulted in 3 fatalities and 32 injuries
  • 200 auto accidents involving a commercial vehicle that resulted in 1 fatality and 96 injuries

Each of these accident categories often involves complex legal issues due to the nature of the accident itself, and when paired with the fact that these accidents normally result in at least one person sustaining catastrophic injuries, you can see why the fact that these accidents occurred in the span of one year in Hernando County is a significant snapshot of the current state of driving safety in our county. 

Quick Facts to Remember after an Auto Accident in Hernando County

Auto accidents can be traumatic events, but the most important thing you can do after an accident is remain calm. Both you and the other driver will be naturally shaken due to the accident, but immediately following an accident is when the most evidence is gathered indicating how exactly the accident occurred. Moreover, you should always keep the following legal facts in mind as you go through the claims process or determine whether or not you will file a claim:

  1. You will have 14 days to file a claim through your PIP insurance pursuant to Fla.Stat. § 627.736(1)(a), failure to establish a claim could cause your insurance to deny coverage. 
  2. The statute of limitations on a car accident claim is four years under Fla.Stat. § 95.11, so, technically, you have four years to pursue a claim against the other driver. However, as time progresses, the strength of the underlying evidence needed tends to fade, so you should give serious consideration to establishing a claim as soon as possible. 
  3. The provisions of Fla.Stat. § 768.81(2) makes Florida comparative fault or comparative negligence state. This means that at trial, each driver in an auto accident case will be assigned a percentage of fault by a judge or jury at the conclusion of the trial. This percentage is, in turn, used to reduce any award of damages based on the percentage of fault assigned to you. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 worth of damages but found to be 50% at-fault for having caused the accident, your award will be reduced by 50%, and you will be awarded $50,000. 
  4. The Florida Supreme Court defines negligence as “The failure to use reasonable care, which is the care that a reasonably careful person would use under like circumstances. Negligence is doing something that a reasonably careful person would not do under like circumstances or failing to do something that a reasonably careful person would do under like circumstances.” However, Florida also recognizes the doctrine of negligence per se when the defendant in a case broke non-traffic penal statute during the course of events leading up to the accident. In this scenario, the breaking of the statute itself is negligent conduct, and negligence per se typically arises in drunk driving accident claims or other cases where the at-fault driver was engaging in illegal conduct when the accident took place. 

Auto Accident Lawyer in Hernando County, FL 

At Peck Law, our auto accident attorneys understand how stressful and frightening being involved in a car accident can be, but you don’t have to navigate the claims process on your own. Our attorneys are dedicated to helping car accident victims seek the compensation they need and the justice they deserve, so call our office today to find out how an auto accident attorney can help you with your auto accident claim. 

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