Drivers rely on mirrors and, in some vehicles, cameras to help them navigate Fort Lauderdale traffic. These visual aids can cause drivers to feel overconfident in their ability to change lanes, back up, or make other vehicle moves. A failure to give a second look a second thought has dire consequences for other motorists. If you suffered serious injuries due to a blind spot accident, you may want to contact a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer today.
Blind Spots Surrounding Cars and Trucks
Passenger vehicles and tractor-trailers both contain blind spots that make it difficult to see other drivers. No amount of technology substitutes for a glance of the area surrounding a car or truck.
Car Blind Spot Dangers
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly half of the area surrounding a car contains blind spots. These blind spots pose serious hazards for motorcyclists.
Drivers must use caution in the following circumstances due to vehicle blind spots:
- When a hill crests near a roadway entrance
- Along curved roadways where obstructions can delay reaction times
Far too many drivers responsible for a motorcycle crash claim that they did not see the motorcycle. Drivers can adjust their mirrors to help prevent accidents and should always remain aware of motorcycles by checking blind spots regularly.
Truck No Zones
Tractor-trailers rely on their side mirrors to see other vehicles. Due to the attached trailer, truckers don’t have a rear-view mirror to help them make lane changes. Three key no zones surround a tractor-trailer.
These zones include:
- Front: The no-zone extends nearly 40 feet in front of a truck. Cutting off a truck in traffic makes it impossible for the truck to stop in time to avoid a crash.
- Side: The sides of a tractor-trailer contain large blind spots that angle out from the trailer. Riding alongside a truck makes it difficult, if not impossible, for the truck driver to see you.
- Rear: The lack of a rear-view mirror prevents truck drivers from seeing things behind them. The blind spot area behind a truck extends approximately 200 feet, making it imperative that drivers not follow trucks too closely.
If a truck driver or motorist caused your accident injuries, consider contacting a lawyer. A free case evaluation can help you learn if you have a case for legal action and, if so, how to proceed.
Types of Negligence in Blind Spot Accidents
All drivers have a responsibility to share the road. When one driver acts negligently, that driver may bear liability for the resulting damages. Your lawyer will need to prove negligence to pursue compensation on your behalf.
Common types of negligent behavior that may result in a blind spot accident include:
Any one of these actions constitutes a form of negligence. The driver responsible for your injuries most likely failed to use the same care another driver would use in a similar situation.
Blind Spot Accidents and Your Injuries
A blind spot accident can occur in seconds, leaving you with a lifetime of changes. Another driver’s inability to safely share Fort Lauderdale highways and city streets may make that driver liable for your damages.
Traumatic accidents involving motorcyclists and other drivers can result in:
- Brain injury: From a severe concussion to a traumatic brain injury (TBI), the impact can disrupt normal brain function. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that approximately 166 Americans die from TBI- related injuries each day.
- Spinal cord damage: A severe injury to the spinal cord can result in paralysis. The need for home modifications can surpass your ability to pay for them.
- Internal injuries: An internal injury can result in organ damage and possible death. This type of injury makes immediate medical attention crucial following a blind spot accident.
- Bone fractures: Multiple bone fractures sometimes require a lengthy recovery. Time away from work can make your lost wages and mounting medical costs a stressful combination.
These constitute just a few examples of the types of injuries possible when a driver fails to watch for other motorists. You didn’t cause your damages, and you have a right to pursue compensation to cover their costs. Hiring a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer can ease your stress as your attorney handles the details of your claim and lawsuit while you focus on your recovery.
Pursuing Compensation for Your Damages
One traumatic crash can result in multiple damages for accident victims.
Common types of damages accident victims face include:
- Mounting medical expenses relating to their injuries
- Ongoing medical expenses for a lengthy recovery or a permanent disability
- Lost wages due to recovery and time away from work
- Loss of future earnings due to an inability to return to the same job as before the accident
- Pain and suffering
While your life may never return to how it was before the accident, possible compensation may help ease your financial stress. Holding those responsible accountable for your life changes can serve as a form of justice.
Depending upon the circumstances, the person responsible for your accident may face criminal charges. While a conviction may also serve as a form of justice, it does nothing to help defray your financial costs.
Personal injury cases involve civil law, completely separate from criminal charges. Regardless of the outcome of a criminal case, you reserve the right to pursue civil action against those liable for your harm.
Fatal Blind Spot Accidents
Losing a close loved one in a blind spot accident can prove a traumatic experience. No amount of compensation can replace the permanent loss of someone close to you.
The fight for compensation in a wrongful death case—if successful —can ease your financial stress during this highly emotional time. If your spouse died, and he or she contributed to the household income, you should fight for compensation for lost wages.
A large, unexpected expense like that of a funeral can drain your savings. When the death resulted from someone else’s negligent actions, that party, not you, should pay funeral and burial costs.
Following your loss, you deserve time to mourn your loved one; you don’t want to have to worry about handling the details of a legal claim. A Fort Lauderdale wrongful death lawyer can help you with your case, represent you before insurance companies, and if necessary, represent you in court.
Most civil cases settle without anyone ever stepping into a courtroom. Retaining a lawyer constitutes the best step toward protecting your interests. If your case must proceed to trial, having a lawyer on your side with courtroom experience will prove essential.
How a Fort Lauderdale Lawyer Can Help You
Following a blind spot accident, you don’t have to pursue compensation on your own. While you may feel tempted to negotiate with an insurance company for a fair settlement alone, consider hiring a lawyer instead.
Insurance companies sometimes pressure accident victims into accepting far less than their cases’ true value.
For example, these companies may pressure you to accept a settlement:
- Before you hire a lawyer
- To prevent you from pursuing additional compensation later
- To close your claim for the least amount of compensation possible
Most insurance companies want to protect their best interests. These companies’ initial offers may seem like the answer to your financial stress. An insurance company representative may not tell you, however, that you forfeit your right to sue in the future by accepting the settlement.
If you develop complications from your blind spot accident injuries, the settlement money may not cover your new medical bills. Therefore, you should strive to protect your best interests. Before you sign or agree to any settlement, give careful thought to contacting a lawyer first.
Protect Your Case
An insurance company may try to blame you for the accident. However, a blind spot accident can produce evidence that may help your lawyer build your civil case.
Examples of evidence that may help your case include:
- Eyewitnesses: names and phone numbers for witnesses will prove helpful down the road should your lawyer want to interview them.
- Pictures: if possible, you should take photographs or video of the accident scene from your smartphone so that your lawyer can review that evidence later.
- Police report: a copy of the official police report can provide valuable information, including whether the at-fault party faced any criminal charges as a result of the accident.
- Medical records: information regarding the severity of your injuries
- Medical bills: the costs associated with your care
- Work information: wages and time missed due to the accident
Many personal injury lawyers only collect a fee if and when they win your case. This makes hiring a lawyer affordable, as you do not pay legal fees if they do not win compensation for you.
A free case evaluation, along with the knowledge that you do not need a deposit or retainer, should serve as good news. The knowledge that you can quickly secure a lawyer and immediately start protecting your best interests can help you get the rest you need.
Communication between you and your lawyer and clients constitutes an important part of the process. It not only keeps you informed regarding the latest developments but can also afford you the reassurance that someone has your best interests in mind.
The Statute of Limitations
You may want to contact a lawyer, yet feel unsure of when to do so. You should contact a Fort Lauderdale blind spot accident lawyer immediately following your accident to ensure your best chances of success.
Florida law limits the amount of time allowed for pursuing civil lawsuits. You must file your case within the required timeline or miss the opportunity for possible compensation forever.
The clock starts the moment you suffer injuries or loss. Unfortunately, time is not on your side as you adjust to your major life changes. You should contact a personal injury or wrongful death attorney now before you run out of time.
Fort Lauderdale Blind Spot Accidents: Why Fighting for Compensation Matters
A blind spot accident is generally an avoidable crash. However, when drivers abuse their licensed privileges, they must face accountability. Traffic rules, laws, and regulations exist for a reason—to keep everyone safe.
A Fort Lauderdale personal injury or wrongful death attorney wants to help you fight for compensation to cover the full cost of your injuries. You shouldn’t have to bear the financial burden of injuries that you played no role in causing.
Traffic can sometimes make drivers take risks that may prove dangerous and even deadly. Sudden moves without consideration for blind spots can break the law and destroy the lives of other drivers.
If you or a loved one suffered serious harm, or someone close to you died due to a blind spot accident, consider seeking help. The legal process can prove challenging for those unfamiliar with court processes and state laws. A wrong move while representing yourself can severely impact your chance for compensation.
The process of fighting for compensation starts with insurance company negotiations. Your lawyer cannot guarantee you compensation nor predict the outcome of your case. Your lawyer can, however, fight for maximum compensation on your behalf—and not just the amount of compensation that the insurance company wants to give you.
The traumatic experience of a blind spot accident can confuse and overwhelm you. So take a deep breath, say no to aggressive insurance company representatives, and consider scheduling a free case evaluation.
A Fort Lauderdale truck accident or wrongful death lawyer can deal with the insurance companies. You should prioritize focusing on your physical, emotional, and psychological health during this challenging time.
A free case evaluation constitutes a positive step forward following such a devastating event. If you suffered harm or loss due to a careless driver who failed to check his or her blind spots, you may want to contact a lawyer now.