Palatka is a busy place for such a small city. Its warm weather and activities bring people from all over the country to visit the Florida Azalea Festival, Blue Crab Festival, and Ravine Gardens State Park.
With all the hustle and bustle in this city, motor vehicle accidents happen far too regularly.
If your life was recently affected by a motor vehicle accident, don’t hesitate to contact a knowledgeable Palatka car accident attorney from Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A. for help. We know that you are more than just a number, and we fight for maximum compensation for every client.
Some case results we achieved in car accident claims include:
- $2,500,000 for a client who needed leg surgery
- $1,125,000 after a fatal accident due to a distracted driver
- $1,000,000 for someone who needed hip and arm surgery
- $300,000 for a client who needed neck surgery
- $500,000 for a husband and wife who suffered neck, back, and shoulder injuries
- $305,000 for a client who had neck surgery
- $749,000 for someone who needed eye surgery
We have recovered hundreds of millions for our clients, many of whom suffered injuries in car crashes. Learn more in a free consultation today.
It’s easier than it ever has been for a driver to become distracted today. There’s the potential for so much to happen both in and out of their vehicle.
Common sources of driver distraction include:
- Passengers and pets inside the vehicle
- Personal hygiene tasks, such as applying makeup
- Eating or drinking
- Using a cell phone to talk, text, access social media, or play games
- Adjusting a GPS
- Using an onboard infotainment system
Drowsiness or Fatigue
Today’s drivers are also frequently tired. They may work swing shifts, have more than one job, have a sleeping disorder, or lack sleep for other reasons. No matter the reason, driving while fatigued or drowsy can become a serious problem. Drivers who nod off can cause catastrophic and fatal injuries. Everyone who gets behind the wheel needs to recognize if they are drowsy and shouldn’t be driving, as the effects are just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated.
Not Following the Rules of the Road
For various reasons, some drivers simply ignore the rules of the road. They drive over the speed limit, run red lights, perform rolling stops at stop signs, fail to yield the right of way, and are otherwise rude or careless. Some are in a hurry, some don’t care, and others may be driving in unfamiliar areas. Whatever the reason, there is no excuse for putting others in danger.
Driving While Under the Influence
Alcohol, prescription drugs, illegal drugs, and even over-the-counter medications can all impact a driver’s mental and physical capabilities behind the wheel. Drivers should know how these substances affect their driving and stay off the road if they had too much. Far too many lives continue to be lost each year due to intoxicated drivers.
While Palatka doesn’t typically see wintery weather conditions like many other states, weather conditions can still impact driving conditions. For example, rain, fog, sleet, and other conditions can make the roads slick and decrease visibility. Therefore, drivers should be prepared to adjust their normal driving habits in these conditions, possibly slowing down, leaving more space in between them and the next vehicle, and being more careful making turns.
Other times, it’s not the driver but the road conditions that cause a crash. Hazardous road conditions may exist if the municipality in charge of the roads has failed to perform proper road inspections and maintenance. Crumbling roadways, loose gravel, potholes, and even sinkholes can become dangerous to motorists and passengers.
Defective Vehicles or Parts
Another situation in which a driver might not be at fault for the accident is if the vehicle or its parts are defective. For instance, a car’s faulty brakes or tires can cause an accident. In these cases, the vehicle or parts manufacturer is liable for damages arising from the accident.
If you were recently in a car crash, all of these possibilities might seem overwhelming. It might also seem impossible to determine what or who caused the accident. However, when you hire a qualified Palatka car accident lawyer, they will do the research and investigation to determine how your accident occurred and what party or parties are at fault. If they find multiple parties, you can hold each one accountable, which will maximize your compensation.
Car Accident Injuries
Car accident victims can have a wide range of injuries depending on how the accident happened and the vehicles involved. Typically, accidents occurring at higher speeds or with larger vehicles will be more likely to cause severe injuries. Likewise, head-on and t-bone collisions are often known for causing catastrophic or even fatal injuries. Some car accident victims are lucky to walk away from the crash with only some cuts, bruises, and soreness; others will never walk again.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
Car accidents are one of the most frequent causes of TBI, which can happen if a forceful blow or a piercing injury to the head damages the brain. Annually, 50,000 people lose their lives to TBIs, and between 80,000 to 90,000 will suffer long-term disabilities.
Spinal Cord Injuries and Paralysis
The impact of a car crash and twisting forces on the body can result in a long-term disability from spinal cord damage. Injury to the spinal cord can result in partial or total paralysis below the level of the damage, including quadriplegia/tetraplegia and paraplegia.
Back injuries are common in car accidents as the human body isn’t meant to stand up to such powerful forces. What’s worse is that back injuries may not show up right away after a crash. The pain and disabilities caused by a severe back injury may last a long time.
Neck Injuries and Whiplash
Whiplash refers to muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries that can cause neck pain after a car accident. Even speeds as low as 15 miles per hour can cause whiplash, with or without wearing a seatbelt. Car crashes can also cause severe disk injuries and cervical dislocations.
Cars sometimes catch on fire after an accident, or skin can come into contact with substances like hot fluids, surfaces, steam, or chemicals, causing accident victims to suffer burns. Some car accident burns may require surgery and skin grafting. They can also be extremely painful and even have complications such as infection.
The forces in a crash can push the body into or onto an object, or flying debris can hit the body, causing damage to the internal organs. Internal bleeding from these injuries necessitates emergency medical treatment.
Limb Loss and Amputation
An arm, leg, finger, hand, foot, toe, or another appendage can be severed in a car accident or injured severely enough to need a surgical amputation. Either way, such an injury can have lasting disabling effects on the car crash victim.
Disfiguring Facial Injuries and Scars
Broken glass or an impact with a steering wheel, dash, windshield, airbag, side window, car seat, or any hard surface may result in facial injuries in a car accident. These injuries may need surgical correction and can leave a victim with a lasting scar or other disfigurements.
Fractures and Broken Bones
Car accidents may cause broken arms, legs, ribs, ankles, and wrists. Some accident victims might even sustain a fractured pelvis. The severity of these fractures ranges from simple breaks that only require a splint or cast to severe breaks or compound fractures that may require surgical repairs and physical therapy.
Wrist and Hand Injuries
Broken wrists are extremely common in car accidents. Such an injury might need surgery, depending on the severity of the fracture.
Shoulder injuries may arise from absorbing force after bracing the hands against the steering wheel or dashboard in a crash. In these instances, the shoulder locks into position and receives excessive force from the crash’s impact.
Knees can sustain damage in car crashes by smashing into debris or any part of the vehicle. Knee injuries can range from minor bruises to numerous fractures. In addition, the meniscus can tear if the knee twists or turns abruptly in a collision.
Foot and Ankle Injuries
Feet, toe, and ankle strains, sprains, and fractures are frequent occurrences in motor vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, feet and toes can also be severed in a crash by sharp objects, shearing forces, or other debris.
Lacerations, Bruises and “Road Rash”
Broken glass, torn sheet metal, or flying debris may all cause lacerations and gashes. Bruises come from the impact of the body against any object. For example, a driver might get bruises on their forearms from the airbag. Road rash is a severe abrasion resulting from friction caused by skidding or dragging on pavement or concrete.
Crush injuries can occur to any part of the body caught between two objects being pushed together under pressure. Minor lacerations or bruising, severe damage to tissue, organs, muscles, and bones, or anything in between can result.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Not all car crash injuries are physical or visible. Those in a car crash might suffer from mental and emotional injuries from the accident. For example, they might have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), causing things that used to be routine to become worrisome and even impossible. As such, victims might recover compensation for their mental health treatment and emotional suffering in their accident claim.
Car Accident FAQs
How Do You Know If You Have a Valid Car Accident Injury Claim?
The best way to determine if you have a valid car accident injury claim is to contact a Palatka car accident attorney at our firm for a free case review. We will evaluate all the details of your accident and injuries.
If you can establish these elements of negligence exist in your claim with evidence, you have a valid injury claim:
- Did another party owe you a duty of care? For instance, was the other driver supposed to run a stoplight or drive while drunk?
- Did the other party violate their duty of care to you? Perhaps they failed to yield the right of way or were going too fast for weather conditions.
- Did you suffer injuries as a direct result of their violation? Their failure to yield the right of way caused an accident that resulted in your injuries.
- Do you have compensable damages? For example, compensable damages might include pain and suffering, loss of a limb or bodily function, loss of enjoyment of life, medical bills, or lost wages.
If you can answer yes to each of these elements, you likely have a valid personal injury claim that you should discuss with a seasoned Palatka car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
How Long Do You Have to File a Car Accident Case?
After suffering injuries in a car accident, you have a limited amount of time to file a legal case. Speak with a Palatka car accident attorney as soon as possible. They can help you file a claim against the appropriate parties.
You have four years from your accident to pursue legal action. If it comes to this, your lawyer will file your case well within the deadline. You should know that the deadline is strict. If you miss it, the at-fault party will ask the court to dismiss the case. The court will have no choice but to grant the request.
Seek Help from an Experienced Palatka Car Accident Attorney Today
For over 35 years, the car accident lawyers at Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A. have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for injured clients. We offer free case consultations with our experienced Palatka car accident attorneys.
Call us today at (800) BAGEN LAW or contact us online for yours.
My experience was more than great, from the moment I acquired about their services to the moment my case was finalized and settled, there was steady communication, and I was consistently in the loop. They explain things to you in a way that you can understand and ensure that you are involved in the decision making. Everyone is super kind and stays in contact with you even after settling. They truly care about your well being and I will definitely keep them at the top of the list for any other cases.