Palm Harbor Car Accident Lawyer

Representing the Rights of Victims in Palm Harbor Auto Accidents

Without traffic lights and overpasses at major intersections, the U.S. 19 corridor that passes through Palm Harbor and surrounding Pinellas County has been nicknamed “Death Valley” due to the high number of crashes that occur there. On the one-mile stretch of highway between Curlew Road and Tampa Road on U.S. 19, police report hundreds of Palm Harbor car accidents every year. In fact, within the first five months of 2018, the section of highway witnessed 74 crash-related injuries. 

 

While auto accidents may be common, victims often sustain serious injuries that can damage nearly every aspect of their lives. Florida law protects your right to pursue legal action related to your injuries if they were caused by another person’s negligence. At The Fran Haasch Law Group, an experienced Palm Harbor car accident lawyer can provide expert legal counsel and representation to get you the compensation you deserve. 

 
Request Your Free Case Evaluation

Do You Need Help With Your Palm Harbor Car Accident Claim?

If you were injured in a car accident as a result of someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior, call our legal experts at (727) 784-8191 or contact us online for a free, no-risk case evaluation with one of our car accident attorneys in Palm Harbor.

Fill out the form to get started or give us a call to speak with our legal team directly.

What Are Types of Car Accidents in Palm Harbor?

The type of car accident you were involved in can help to determine which driver is at fault and how your claim should be handled. This is particularly critical information for victims who are seeking compensation for injuries and punitive damages such as pain and suffering. Along U.S. 19 and on the streets of downtown Palm Harbor, motorists experience the following common types of car accidents.

Intersections are notoriously complex traffic situations and one of the most common types of crashes. Most types of intersection crashes include rear-end accidents when a distracted driver does not realize the lead driver has stopped. They also include side-impact collisions or “T-bones” when a driver ignores a yellow caution and runs a red light.

Forward Pinellas, the transportation planning agency for the county, identified the following most dangerous intersections in Palm Harbor based on crash data from 2011 to 2015:

U.S. 19 at Tampa Rd. — 631 crashes
U.S. 19 at Alderman Rd. — 319 crashes
U.S. 19 at Nebraska Ave. — 240 crashes
U.S. 19 at Hammock Pine Blvd. — 182 crashes

When one car follows too closely behind another car, or the driver in the car ahead suddenly stops, a rear-end collision may occur. Crashes like these are common on congested highways like U.S. 19 where Tampa Bay area commuters stop and accelerate frequently.

According to the Florida Department of Transportation, on the nearly six-mile section of U.S. 19 from Curlew Road to Klosterman Road, there were an average of 49 rear-end accidents per year between 2011 and 2015.

Under Florida traffic laws, a car making a left turn should yield to oncoming vehicles and only turn when it is safe. Therefore, fault is often attributed to the driver making the left turn.

Although a Palm Harbor car accident study of the intersection at Belcher Road and Innisbrook Drive determined that a traffic signal could help prevent future injury crashes from unprotected left turns, safety improvements have yet to be made.

Head-on collisions occur when the front ends of two vehicles hit each other while driving in opposite directions. This type of accident may result because of a mistake, such as one driver driving on the wrong side of the road. They may also happen as a result of drunk driving, distracted driving, or brake failure.

Head-on collisions are the most dangerous type of car crash because the speed at impact is doubled and often results in catastrophic injuries such as brain injuries, paralysis, bone fractures, and disfigurement.

When merging onto a highway, cars are at risk of being sideswiped. These types of car accidents are most often caused by the merging driver’s negligence to check all blind spots before merging. This is made even more difficult when a driver is speeding.

 

Sideswipe accidents are also dangerous because they can cause one or both drivers to swerve, skid, or lose control of their vehicle. When this happens, they may hit yet another car, a tree, or a pole.

Head-on collisions are the most dangerous type of car crash because the speed at impact is doubled and often results in catastrophic injuries such as brain injuries, paralysis, bone fractures, and disfigurement.

What Are the Most Common Car Accident Injuries?

There are several types of damages you can claim in a personal injury lawsuit, one of which is medical expenses related to injuries sustained during the car crash. Auto accident injuries can range from moderate to severe and most commonly include the following:

Neck Injuries and Whiplash

When the head is thrown violently forward or backward, or side to side, ligaments in the neck can be stretched beyond the normal range of motion. Speeds as low as 15 mph can cause whiplash with or without a seatbelt. 

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

Car accidents are a leading cause of TBI, which occurs when the brain is damaged by a blow or a penetrating injury to the head. Each year, 80,000 to 90,000 people suffer long-term disability as a result of a TBI. 

Spinal Cord Injuries and Paralysis

At the moment of impact during a crash, torque on the body can cause long-term disability if the spinal cord becomes injured. Spinal cord damage can result in partial or total paralysis, including quadriplegia/tetraplegia and paraplegia. 

Internal Organ Damage

High-impact accidents are the most likely to cause internal organ damage. When a crash forces the body into an object, or the body is hit by flying debris, internal bleeding may result in the affected organ failing to perform essential functions. Liver lacerations and kidney damage are some of the most common internal injuries.

Broken Bones

The blunt force of a high-speed collision can fracture or snap bones. In addition to broken legs, ribs, arms, ankles, and wrists, some car accident victims even suffer a broken pelvis. Injury severity ranges from simple breaks that require a cast to serious breaks or compound fractures that may only be repaired through surgery.

Wrongful Death

A fatality is generally considered the ultimate injury a victim of a car accident can experience. Following such a tragedy, surviving family members and loved ones may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible driver or party. 

FLHSMV Palm Harbor Car Accidents Involving Injuries

Reported car accidents in Palm Harbor and surrounding Pinellas County involving injuries such as broken bones, severed limbs, bruises, abrasions, limping and other conditions. 

Source: F​LHSMV

How Can I Get Compensation After a Florida Car Accident?

After an auto accident in Florida, you initially receive money for medical expenses, lost wages and property damage through your own insurance company as opposed to contacting the other driver’s insurance. It is important to understand that all drivers in an accident are assessed for contributory negligence, which is why it is vital to have an experienced attorney representing your claim. The following steps can help you successfully recover the full value of your damages after a crash:

Florida’s no-fault insurance can be immediately approved before fault has even been determined after you contact your insurance company. Drivers carrying state insurance minimums who are seriously injured in a car accident will likely make full use of their coverage based on high medical treatment expenses.

Only after personal injury protection (PIP) insurance is exhausted can you file for any additional damages from a negligent party. However, insurance companies can make it difficult to determine these non-economic damages. Complicated insurance laws and the stress of filing claims while injured are the primary reasons to contact a Palm Harbor car accident lawyer as soon as possible following a crash.

Florida traffic laws can hold you partially at fault for an accident in which you suffered harm, and your recovery of damages will be reduced by the percentage at which you were at fault. This means that insurance companies will often argue the amount of comparative negligence in an accident as a method to lessen your claim’s value.

 

Without legal counsel, insurance companies often succeed in persuading injured victims to accept a quick settlement offer in order to avoid litigation. This typically means that the victim releases them from future medical expense coverage. You can avoid this misstep with help from an experienced car accident lawyer who can accurately calculate your present damages and estimate the potential for future costs.

When insurance companies refuse to fairly compensate you for your injuries and losses, or if they deny your claim, you may file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver. While taking a case to trial is often done in only the most severe accident cases—those involving wrongful death, drunk driving, or truck accidents—insurance companies hire skilled legal teams that are always ready to take a case to court.

 

Qualified and effective legal representation from a Palm Harbor car accident attorney can increase your chances of a successful outcome. We can investigate whether you have a lawsuit worth pursuing, what damages you can sue for, and what your case is worth.

The Fran Haasch Law Group Case Results

 

  • $1,300,000 Award for Car Accident Injury Case – Pinellas County, FL – A 33-year-old female client was rear ended while stopped at a traffic light in Pinellas County while her three children were in the car with her. The accident resulted in multiple surgeries and complications.
  • $700,000 Award for Car Accident Injury Case – Pinellas County, FL – A 50-year-old female client had the defendant attempt to make a left turn across the client’s path, causing the client to T-bone the defendant with the vehicle ending up on its side. The client sustained a broken rib and also required neck surgery. 
  • $650,000 Award for Car Accident Injury Case – Pinellas County, FL – A 50-year-old male client was stopped at a traffic light on U.S. Highway 19 when he was rear ended by the defendant who said his foot slipped off the brake. The police officer estimated the defendant was traveling at about 45 mph at the time of the accident, totaling the client’s vehicle. 

Learn more about the cases we have successfully handled and view more case results here.

How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?

Under Florida law, the statute of limitations allows you to file a personal injury claim within four years from the date of the accident. In the case of a wrongful death, family members have two years from the date of death to file a claim for compensation. 

 

However, as time elapses between the incident and the mounting of the legal case, evidence may not be preserved or witnesses may move, in addition to other factors that could weaken your case. Consulting and hiring a Palm Harbor car accident attorney as soon as possible after a crash can give you the best opportunity to successfully obtain compensation. 

 

How Do You Prove Fault in a Car Accident?

Although most car crashes are accidental, determining who is liable is vital because the at-fault party is responsible for the costs of damages. This might include property damage repairs, medical bills, or specialist visits. Proving fault requires the following steps that begin at the scene of the accident:

Step 1:

Do not admit fault or apologize at the scene.

Step 2:

Take pictures, take witness statements, and collect contact information.

Step 3:

File a police report that includes witness statements.

Step 4:

Document posted speed limits, traffic signs, and driving conditions.

Step 5:

Consult a car accident lawyer to determine liability.

Speak With a Palm Harbor Car Accident Attorney Today

Auto accidents leave physical, emotional, and financial scars on a victim’s life. If you or someone you love has been involved in a crash, the experienced Palm Harbor car accident lawyers at The Fran Haasch Law Group can pursue all avenues of compensation for your injuries and losses. To schedule your free case review, call (727) 784-8191 or contact us online. 

Request Your Free Case Evaluation

Do You Need Help With Your Palm Harbor Accident Claim?

If you’ve been injured from an accident in Palm Harbor, it is important to consult with a local personal injury lawyer who is familiar with the case law, judges, and injuries in the greater Tampa Bay area.

If you have been injured in an auto accident in Palm Harbor, you might need help
understanding your legal rights and obligations in addition to complex state law. Contact a Palm Harbor car accident lawyer from The Fran Haasch Legal Group for a free consultation with our legal team. We will review your case and determine the best strategy for getting you the money you deserve. Call us at (727) 784-8191 or contact us online.

Fill out the form to get started or give us a call to speak with our legal team directly.