Jacksonville Car Accident Lawyer
At Douglas & Carter we know that it can only take a second of inattention by another driver to change your life. Our Jacksonville accident attorneys understand that better than anyone. We believe in you and your case, you are not just a number in a file to us. Each of our Jacksonville injury accident lawyers are available to discuss your case in person, and will help you through what can be a very difficult time. You can rest easy and focus on getting your life on track while your case is being handled by our highly capable team. They are ready to give you helpful and candid counsel regarding any situation that may arise during your case.
Common Causes of Car Collisions
Almost all motor vehicle collisions are caused by human error. Drivers who cause crashes often fall under one, or multiple, of the following categories:
- Distracted or careless;
- Intoxicated or high; or
- Drowsy/fallen asleep.
Some of the most common types of traffic collisions occur in the following ways:
- A driver does not check their mirrors or turn their head when they change lanes, merge, or make a left or right turn;
- A driver tries to fit into a spot where there is not enough room on the highway while trying to change lanes or “make up” time;
- A driver pulls out in front of cross traffic failing to yield the right of way;
- Crossing over into oncoming traffic due to distraction, intoxication, or falling asleep and causing a head on collision;
- Lane drifting;
- Running a red light or stop sign;
- Trying to beat oncoming traffic while making a left turn across the oncoming lane;
- Backing up too quickly and/or without looking over a shoulder;
- Speeding and losing control of their vehicle; and
- Driving the speed limit during inclement weather when speed should have been reduced due to low visibility, hydroplaning risk, etc.
In some rare instances, a driver will cause a crash due to their poorly maintained or faulty vehicle. A bald tire could burst or their power steering could go out, for instance. In these cases, if their vehicle was defective, we may be able to pursue damages from the car manufacturer.
Distracted Driving is on the Rise
Traffic deaths have risen in recent years from a previous all time low in 2011. And unfortunately, it does not look like the roads are getting any safer. More than 3,700 people were killed in traffic collisions in 2016, as well as over 37,000 in 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The surge in fatalities and serious injuries is caused by more people driving due to cheap gas and a strong economy following the Great Recession, as well as more people using phones while they drive. In fact, a recent study found that 88 percent of drivers use their phones on every car trip they make, according to Wired. For every hour of driving, the average driver on their phone spends three and a half minutes on it. This is time that their mind is not focused on driving, their eyes are searching through contacts or sending texts, and only one (or none) hand is on the steering wheel. Cell phone use while driving is a growing epidemic, as this study and the increase in traffic collisions both prove. It may be difficult to prove, however, that the negligent party who caused your crash was on their phone. A subpoena can be issued to search through their phone records, but this is only necessary in rare instances. Even if we cannot prove that they were texting or talking on the phone, we can prove that their actions or maneuvers were the cause of the collision.
We Treat You Like Family
When you choose us to represent you, you become a part of the Douglas & Carter family. Becoming a part of our family entitles you to a strategy from our professional team with honest counsel and regular communication as to the status of your case. From experience we have found that “roundtable” discussions with varied professionals and lawyers achieve the best results for our clients. Our team will develop a strategy specifically for your case, advising you on your best options to achieve your objective given your budget and other constraints. If we cannot help you, we will tell you so. While we cannot guarantee the success of any given venture, we do promise to provide you with honest, competent and zealous legal representation. We take it personally when our clients have been injured, wronged, accused or otherwise damaged, and we are ready to fight for you.
We are with you every step of the way, whether your injury case is settle outside of court, or if it moves forward to trial. Our accident attorneys make sure that you to have all the details of your claim at hand so that you can make the most informed decision possible when it comes to the tough choices. You can trust that throughout the entire process, we are always ensuring that your interests are protected.
What to Do if You Have Been Injured in a Car Accident in Lake City or Jacksonville
Getting hurt in a car accident is not only painful but traumatic as well. It can be a very confusing time while you struggle to figure out what to do with your car, how to get medical help, and how to deal with the other driver. This is understandable, so no matter what you do after a car accident, just be sure and call Douglas & Carter for a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys in Jacksonville and Lake City. If you have just been in an accident and aren’t sure what to do, consider any of the following tips which may be applicable to you.
- Get Medical Help: If you or anyone else has been seriously injured, your first concern should be with getting medical help. Seek First Aid, or call 9-1-1. Whether you are treated at the scene or taken to the hospital or not, be sure and follow up with your doctor soon after the accident. Some serious conditions may not be immediately apparent, but symptoms can arise days later. Remember that unless you seek treatment for an emergency medical condition within 14 days of the accident, you can be limited to receiving only $2,500 in PIP (no-fault) benefits.
- Call the Police: The police should be notified in any accident where there is an injury or significant property damage. If possible, don’t move the vehicles so the police can make an accurate report. If you do need to move the vehicles out of traffic, please be careful. Don’t leave the scene until the police arrive, so you can give them information about yourself and the accident. Leaving the scene of an accident can get you in trouble with the law and damage your case.
- Exchange Information: Exchange information with the other driver such as your name, insurance policy number, driver’s license number and contact information. It is best to otherwise limit your conversations with the other driver. For instance, don’t get into details about your insurance coverage, and don’t get into a discussion about who was at fault.
- Gather Evidence: Take several pictures of the scene, including the damage to both vehicles or other property. If there are witnesses, try to get their contact information and a description of what they saw.
- Call Your Insurance Company: To protect your rights under your insurance policy, it is usually necessary to report the accident as soon as you can after the accident.
- Call Douglas & Carter: Our Lake City and Jacksonville car accident attorneys will go to work right away investigating the accident, securing evidence, and building a strong case so that you are in the best position to obtain a significant settlement from the insurance company, or take the case to court if necessary to get the full amount of compensation due to you.
Jacksonville Lawyers with Experience You can Count on
Attorneys Sara Jane Carter and Patrick Douglas have experience that you can rely on to get the full value of your case. Both Mrs. Carter and Mr. Douglas have previously worked defending insurance companies in North Florida and bring that insight to assist you with your case. Their experience is invaluable to you as they are able to anticipate the defendant’s legal argument, and quickly identify the strengths and weaknesses of their defense to get you the outcome you deserve. If you or someone you know has been injured due to the carelessness of another driver, you want Douglas & Carter by your side.
Our Jacksonville Car Accident Lawyers are Here when You Need Us
When you choose us to represent you in your time of need, we do our best to treat you like you deserve to be treated. Call or e-mail our Jacksonville car accident lawyers today for a free consultation, and become a part of the Douglas & Carter family.