Thursday, October 29, 2015

Liability In a Clearwater Single Car Accident

Single-vehicle car accidents in Clearwater, Florida
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety Motor Vehicles,1 there were 210,887 people injured in traffic crashes during 2013. In many instances, these injured people were able to recover for their injuries by filing a personal injury claim against the driver that caused their accident. People injured in single car accidents may assume that they will not be able to recover, as there is no other driver to sue. Fortunately for victims, this is not the case, and many people hurt in a single car accident are able to recover in certain situations. Two of the common scenarios in which single car accident victims are able to sustain a claim are detailed below. For specific information regarding you case, call the Dolman Law Group to speak with a Clearwater car accident attorney today.

Single car accidents can be caused by vehicle defects
Vehicle defects are one of the most common causes of single car accidents that are not the result of driver error. Importantly, even if driver error was partially to blame for an accident, a vehicle defect may  have contributed to the crash, meaning that victims may be able to obtain partial recovery for their injuries. Some examples of the kinds of vehicle parts that can often cause accident when they are defective include the following:

·         Brakes
·         Headlights
·         Steering mechanisms
·         Accelerator pedals
·         Windshield wipers
·         Tires
·         Cruise control systems
·         Anti-lock braking systems
·         Axles
·         Airbags

While the fact that a defect caused or contributed to an accident may be clear in certain situations, in others, it may take significant investigation to uncover the fact that a defect even existed. For this reason, it is extremely important for anyone involved in a single car accident to discuss their case with an attorney familiar representing people involved in single car accidents. A law firm will have the resources required to fully investigate your case and may enlist the help of expert witnesses or accident reconstruction specialists in order to determine whether you may have a right to recover for your losses.

Single car accident can be caused by road defects
In addition to vehicle defects, road defects also cause a significant number of single vehicle accidents each year. Examples of defects that often result in accidents are detailed below.

·         Potholes – Potholes can cause significant damage to vehicles and may pop a tire, often leading to serious accidents. In addition, motorists who swerve to avoid potholes may hit other objects or lose control of their vehicles due to the sudden change in direction.
·         Improper drainage – When a road does not have effective drainage, it can result in the accumulation of standing water. When vehicles drive through water, it can often cause a loss of control that may easily lead to an accident.
·         Inadequate signage – Properly designed and maintained roadways should have signs which inform drivers of upcoming hazards or conditions of which they should be aware. When there is inadequate signage or if a sign has been removed or is difficult to read, serious accidents can occur as a result.
·         Poorly surfaced roads – A poor road surface can have a negative effect on a driver’s ability to control his or her vehicle. This is especially true in adverse weather conditions such as rain, snow, or ice.

Victims of single vehicle accidents who believe that their crash was the result of a roadway defect that there are often relatively short time limits associated with filing a legal claim for this type of accident. For this reason, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after an accident occurs.

Contact a Clearwater auto accident law firm today to schedule a free consultation with an attorney

People who are injured in single vehicle accidents should always have the facts surrounding their accident reviewed by an experienced attorney, even if they believe the accident was partially their fault. In some cases, the fact that a car or truck becomes difficult or impossible to control or stop in a particular situation is actually an issue with the vehicle itself, rather than with the driver’s ability. In addition, many single car accidents are caused by roadway defects that may the result of negligence2 on the part of the party responsible for its design and maintenance.

The Clearwater car accident lawyers of the Dolman Law Group have been helping people injured in preventable accidents since 2009. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, please call our office today at 727-451-6900 or send us an email through our online contact form.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756


Monday, October 5, 2015

Speed Cameras Gaining Popularity

Speed Cameras & Auto Accidents in Florida

Instead of slamming on your breaks to avoid getting pulled over by the hidden cop on your way to work, there may be a new way for the city to make money off of your violation. Automated speed enforcement is steadily becoming more widespread around the country but remains relatively atypical with only 138 jurisdictions operating such systems as of last month.  Just like red light cameras, the speed cameras will take photos of any violators who break the law. And just like red light cameras, many of these communities who piloted the program are fighting back because the offenses are harmless and can become overzealous. Penalties associated with speeding leads to fines, points on the license or a citation that may go on the driver’s record. The traditional method lets the officer depend the course of action based on wait he or she felt was the best course of action. Now the cameras will decide for them.

Montgomery County, Maryland

The statistics do support positive changes speeding cameras have on the community because of how black and white the violation is. These cameras can effectively deter accidents in school zones and residential communities. One of the communities that have tested the program had some impressive numbers. If all U.S. communities had speed camera programs such as the community the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety studied in Maryland’s Montgomery County, more than 21,000 fatal or debilitating injuries would have been prevented in 2013. Speed cameras were implemented in Montgomery County in 2007. In 2014, the county had 56 fixed cameras, 30 portable cameras and 6 mobile speed vans. In the same year, the authorities looked over the numbers and discovered that the cameras reduced the likelihood of a driver exceeding the speed limit by more than 10 mph by about 59% when compared to similar roads in nearby counties. They also found that the camera program resulted in a 19% decline in which the likelihood of a crash would involve a fatality or a debilitating injury. The after effect of slower speeds will in theory create safer roads as crashes are less likely to happen.

They’ve also introduced speed-camera corridors to make a bigger impact than just the cameras alone. With corridors, speed enforcement is focused on long segments of roads instead of specific locations. This is so that drivers do not become familiar with their exact locations. The cameras are regularly moved to different locations on those roads. Speed camera corridors force drivers to watch their speed for the entire length of a road instead of breaking right when they spot a camera. Researchers found that the corridor approach led to even further safety gains by reducing the likelihood of a crash involving fatal or debilitating injury an additional 30%.

Some Backlash

While these numbers provide reasons for the cameras to stay intact and protect lives, there’s been speculation that the program could conversely do just as much damage at the red light cameras. For instance, in Nassau County on Long Island, where speed cameras were installed in just about two dozen school locations, the cameras were torn down due to equipment problems. Nassau County had to compensate more than $2 million in fines and the local legislature decided to abandon the program [1].

Clearwater hasn’t opened its doors to speeding cameras just yet, but they may be approaching. And while red light cameras are still in effect in many locations, the chances of them being installed are very likely. In any case, there continues to be claims of accidents because of these red light cameras. If you have one, you may be entitled to compensation.

Dolman Law Group

The lawyers at Dolman Law Group like to stay ahead of the game with new technology that can affect the way you drive. Although the reasoning behind both the red light and speed cameras is to protect the citizens, technology always seems to have a repercussion that simultaneously harms the same citizens it’s trying to protect. If you are one of these harmed citizens and have been injured because of a car accident, call the experienced attorneys at Dolman Law Group for a free consultation. Dial (727) 451-6900 today.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, Florida 33765