Panama City Ignoring Traffic Signs and Signals Accident Attorneys
Did you get hurt in a car crash in Panama City? Was it caused by another driver ignoring traffic signs and signals? If so, contact The Bruner Law Firm for assistance holding them accountable and recovering the financial compensation you deserve.
Failing to obey traffic signs and signals is a form of reckless driving. As defined by Florida statute 316.192, reckless driving occurs when someone operates a motor vehicle with wanton or willful disregard of another person’s safety. If you get hurt as a result of this type of behavior, you shouldn’t be the one to suffer the consequences. We’ll prepare a strong case that proves their poor judgment caused the crash and that they should pay for resulting injuries and expenses.
Call us at (850) 243-2222 to schedule your free consultation.
Types of Traffic Signs and Signals
Various signs and signals on the road are supposed to keep drivers safe and prevent them from getting into accidents. As long as everyone pays attention to what they’re doing and obeys traffic laws, no one should get hurt. Unfortunately, many motorists ignore traffic signs and signals. When that happens, severe injuries and fatalities can occur.
Common signs and signals you might see while driving include:
- Traffic lights: Red, yellow, and green lights that indicate when to stop and proceed.
- Flashing arrow lights: Some traffic lights contain flashing arrows indicating to slow down and yield the right-of-way if another vehicle is approaching.
- Warning signs: These signs warn motorists of what to expect ahead, such as a sharp curve, construction zone, or slippery surface.
- Guide signs: This type of sign provides direction for drivers looking for specific establishments. Things like rest stops, gas stations, and fast-food restaurants can be found on large signs near highways and other major roads.
- Regulatory signs: Yield, speed limit, stop signs, etc. regulate motorists on the road to ensure the safe flow of traffic.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Car Accidents
What you do and don’t do after sustaining injuries in a car accident is crucial to the outcome of your legal case. You need to protect your rights to financial compensation and ensure the evidence you find proves the other driver’s actions caused the crash. If you do or say the wrong thing, it could ruin your chance of collecting the maximum insurance settlement or holding the at-fault driver liable for their poor choices.
Do call 911 and wait for an officer to arrive at the scene. They’ll investigate the accident and write a traffic crash report detailing their findings. You can request a copy online once it becomes available.
Don’t admit any fault. Florida follows comparative negligence rules. That means if the victim shares any blame for the accident, their compensation will decrease proportionately to the percentage of fault. For instance, if your expenses total $50,000 but you’re 20 percent to blame for the crash, the most compensation you could pursue is $40,000.
Do review your medical records for accuracy. Even experienced and qualified doctors make mistakes. Make sure your records indicate the injuries you suffered and that they were the result of a car accident. If your medical providers don’t include this information, the insurance company will likely deny your claim because there’s no proof of how you got hurt.
Don’t skip appointments. You should seek medical care immediately after the accident and show up for the ongoing treatment of your injuries. A gap in treatment can ruin your chance of recovering the maximum insurance settlement because the insurance company won’t believe you have an injury or require medical intervention.
Do hire a lawyer. If you choose not to seek legal representation, you could end up losing your case. The Bruner Law Firm has experience working on cases just like yours. We’ll use our knowledge and skills to aggressively fight against the opposing parties and get you the financial award you deserve.
Don’t speak to any insurance adjusters. Insurance companies look for any reason to deny claims and provide low settlement offers. If you say the wrong thing, they could use your words against you down the road. Let your lawyer handle all communication.
Types of Damages Available in Insurance Claims
Two types of damages are available after a car crash due to someone ignoring traffic signs and signals. Damages are meant to compensate an accident victim for their injuries, expenses, and other losses. Economic damages include actual costs, while non-economic damages include the physical and emotional suffering endured.
When you get hurt in a car accident in Florida, there’s a no-fault system in place that indicates where you’re allowed to seek damages. You must file a claim with your auto insurance company before pursuing compensation from any other source.
State law requires all motorists to have a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, but you could purchase higher limits. You can use this type of insurance to pay for your medical treatment and lost wages up to the policy limit.
Similar to health insurance, PIP provides upfront payment of medical bills. All you have to do is give all your medical providers your PIP information, and they will submit your bills directly to the auto insurance company.
Unfortunately, PIP has many limitations. Unlike other insurance claims, you can’t pursue noneconomic damages like pain and suffering. But there’s another option available if you chose to purchase it on your insurance policy. Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage provides compensation for an injured victim’s damages if the at-fault driver doesn’t carry auto insurance. You can also use it to supplement your damages after using up your PIP limit.
UM isn’t a legal requirement in Florida, but insurance companies offer it as optional coverage. If it’s on your policy, you could file a claim for the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Death benefits
Unlike PIP, you have to prove someone else was responsible for the accident to claim UM benefits. If you can’t prove fault, the insurance company will deny your claim.
If you want to hold the other driver financially liable for your damages, you must prove you sustained at least one of the following under the serious injury threshold:
- Significant loss of a bodily function;
- Significant and permanent disfigurement or scarring;
- Permanent injury other than scarring or disfigurement, established within a reasonable degree of medical probability; or
When you file a liability claim, you can seek the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Vehicle repair or replacement expense
- Out of pocket costs
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Diminished quality of life
Pursuing a Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Driver
If you want to sue the other driver for their reckless behavior, you can. Lawsuits are complex procedures for anyone unfamiliar with how to handle them. You should hire a lawyer from The Bruner Law Firm to assist you. Our legal team has experience litigating cases and aggressively fighting for a fair financial award at trial.
Besides seeking compensation for economic and noneconomic damages, you can also attempt to recover punitive damages in a lawsuit. Punitive damages don’t compensate injured parties for their expenses and suffering. Instead, the idea is to punish individuals for their actions and deter similar behavior in the future.
The jury will only award punitive damages if the accident victim can prove the other driver acted with:
- Gross negligence: Careless or reckless actions that lack regard for the life, safety, and rights of other people; or
- Intentional misconduct: Knowing specific acts are dangerous or wrong and could result in injuries.
What The Bruner Law Firm Can Do for You
There are various steps to filing an insurance claim or lawsuit after a car crash, and the process can be confusing. If you don’t understand what you’re doing, you could risk making a mistake and miss out on the maximum compensation available. When you hire us, we’ll handle every legal aspect of your case.
We’ll begin by performing a thorough investigation into the cause of the accident. We’ll obtain crucial evidence that someone else’s actions are to blame, such as:
- The traffic crash report
- Video surveillance footage
- Photos of the accident scene
- Eyewitness statements
- Copies of your medical records
- Auto insurance coverage information
You won’t have to do anything other than recover from your injuries. We’ll file the insurance claim on your behalf and try to negotiate a full and fair settlement. If we can’t reach an agreement with the insurance company, we’ll prepare the necessary legal documents to file a lawsuit.
Schedule Your Free Consultation
If another driver was ignoring traffic signs and signals and that’s why you got hurt in a car accident, contact The Bruner Law Firm today. We know you’re in pain and trying to heal. You might be facing financial struggles because your injury is preventing you from working. We’ll review every detail of your case to ensure the compensation we pursue is adequate in covering your total damages.
You shouldn’t suffer the consequences of someone else’s actions. The decisions they made behind the wheel caused your injuries, so they should be the one held accountable. We’ll protect your rights and be by your side from start to finish of your case.
To find out more about how we can help you with your case, call (850) 243-2222 and schedule a free consultation.