Thursday, March 10, 2016

Pinellas County Driver Killed In Single Vehicle Crash

On January 19, 2016, a 43-year-old resident[1] of St. Petersburg was driving a 2004 Infinity FX35 westbound on 18th Avenue South at approximately 3:35 a.m.  The driver was approaching 49th Street South at a high rate of speed when he crossed over 49th Street, failing to stop at the stop sign and driving over the sidewalk onto the grass on the west side of 49th Street, along Tangerine Avenue.  The vehicle continued through the grass and struck a tree causing the vehicle to overturn and causing fatal injuries to the driver. 

Clearwater Single Vehicle Accidents

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute provides that there were 2,228 fatal crashes in the State of Florida in 2013, resulting in 2,407 deaths.  Of those, 1,362 involved single-vehicle accidents[2].  The driver in a single-vehicle accident is oftentimes at fault based upon any number of factors including:

           Distracted driving: Talking or texting on a cell phone, drinking, eating, or talking to passengers may cause a driver to veer off the road or hit an object

           Drowsy driving:  Falling asleep at the wheel can cause a driver to leave the roadway and crash.

           Excessive speed: A driver who exceeds the allowable speed limit and causes a crash can be held responsible for the injuries and damages that result.

           Weather: Poor weather conditions like rain, ice, snow and fog can all contribute to a single-vehicle accident.

When is a Clearwater Driver Not Liable in a Single-Vehicle Accident?

Even though a single vehicle accident involves only one automobile, there can be instances where the driver is not liable including:

           Bad road conditions:  If a driver loses control of their vehicle and hits a tree due to bad road conditions, the driver, or their family, may be able to make a claim against the governmental agency that is responsible for maintaining the road.   State and local government entities are responsible for properly inspecting and maintaining the roads to keep them safe for motorists. If a driver suddenly hits a pothole, crack, break in the pavement, uneven pavement, or other hazardous condition, they can lose control of their vehicle and crash.

           Equipment defect:  650 safety recalls[3] of 17.8 million motor vehicles, pieces of motor vehicle equipment and child safety seats occurred in 2012, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A driver in a single vehicle accident may avoid liability where there was a sudden equipment failure.  When an auto manufacturer sells a defective car part, that part can suddenly malfunction and cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle. Brakes, tires, axles, airbags, and steering systems are all examples of defects that can lead to single-car crashes.

           Road Construction: Construction zones are everywhere throughout Florida. Accidents in these areas may have been caused by lack of warning signs, improperly diverted traffic, poor placement of cones and barriers, or other problems. When collisions occur in a work zone or construction area, negligent construction companies may be held accountable.

           Road debris:  Debris tends to be a common occurrence on roadways, where car parts flying off vehicles, or loose cargo makes its way onto the roadway. Dead road kill animals, trash, and other debris can create a significant road impediment and one that causes drivers to swerve their cars in an effort to avoid hitting objects in the road.

                       Second driver:  Drivers who are impaired or distracted may veer into your lane, cross the center line, or even cut you off, causing you to overcorrect or suddenly brake, which can lead to a collision.  Another type of interaction with a second driver could be caused by road rage, reckless driving, driving while under the influence, or through errors in judgment, such as going down the wrong side of a one-way street. 

Contact a Clearwater Single-Vehicle Accident Lawyer

After you have contacted the police and received any medical assistance that is required, you may want to consider contacting a single vehicle accident attorney to investigate your case.  At the Dolman Law Group, our skilled single vehicle accident attorneys investigate your case and protect your rights under Florida law to make sure you receive all of the compensation to which you are entitled.  Please call our office at 727-451-6900 today.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765


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