Category Archives:Car / Auto Accidents

Head-On Collisions

Head-On Collisions

– by Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez

Tampa Bay is one of the worst areas for wrong-way crashes. Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco make the top 10 list of most wrong-way driving crashes in Florida. The Department of Safety and Motor Vehicles reported the majority of wrong-way crashes result in vehicles being hit head-on. Eighty-one percent of all wrong-way fatalities are head-on collisions.

Have You or a Loved One Been in a Head-on Collision?

Head-on collisions often result in devastating injuries and are usually caused by negligence.

Head-on collisions are often caused by:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Texting while driving or distracted driving
  • Reckless or careless driving

If you have been injured in a head-on collision, contact a attorney as soon as possible. Determining liability in a head-on collision is usually easy. Damages are often complicated. Treatment of sustained injuries may be costly, painful and may take months, or even years. An experienced Head-On Collision attorney can aggressively investigate and seek the financial compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering and for medical treatment and care. An experienced Head-On Collision lawyer will thoroughly analyze your case and explain the options you have for pursuing fair compensation.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a Head-On collision due to the negligence of another on the roadway, you are entitled to compensation. An experienced Head-On collision lawyer can assist you settling the matter or in filing a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation.

Why Fernandez & Hernandez?

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Fernandez & Hernandez can investigate and determine liability. The attorneys at Fernandez & Hernandez will determine what compensatory damages and expenses are fair for your medical treatment, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. If the party responsible for your injuries is found to be especially negligent and careless, which is often the case in Head-On Accidents, punitive damages may be awarded.

Attorney Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez provides legal representation for victims and families in Head-On Accidents and wrongful death cases. Our Tampa Head-On personal injury attorneys welcome the opportunity to interview with you and your loved ones. We invite you to review our recent results for settlements and trial verdicts. Our qualifications and background are available to you as well. We recommend also reading our reviews on Google Reviews, Avvo and Yelp. Our Tampa Attorneys Martin Hernandez and Daniel Fernandez are bilingual as well.

No matter how serious or minimal your injuries are, we will fight hard for compensation of your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Head-On Accident attorney Martin J. Hernandez can help guide you through the process. At Fernandez & Hernandez we know what to do to help you and your family following any kind of accident, and we have the resources to do it. When you call Fernandez & Hernandez we will answer all of your questions quickly.

Our personal injury lawyers help clients in all phases of injury and wrongful death claims from initial investigation through trial and appellate proceedings if necessary. At Fernandez & Hernandez, we will go to trial, if necessary, and fight on your behalf, and we have the results to prove it.

If you have been involved in a Head-On Accident in the Tampa Bay area call Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813-229-5353 or read more at: GetLawyeredUpNow.com

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What to Do After a Multi-Car Wreck or Multiple Car Accident?

What to Do After a Multi-Car Wreck or Multiple Car Accident?

So 3 more cars were involved in an accident.  What you do soon after a multiple car accident will determine how successful you will be in your outcome. Determining liability can be difficult enough when there are two cars involved; however, when multiple vehicles are involved the situation can become even more complex. A vehicle may only hit another vehicle because they themselves were impacted from behind, which commonly occurs in multi-car pile-ups.

What to do in a multiple car accident. Photo of a car accidentUltimately, who is liable for a crash will be determined on a case-by-case basis, either by the insurance companies or by a court. However, there are some general principles that can help you determine your legal rights in multiple vehicle accident situations. To determine fault, the accident investigator will review the police report and take with the police office that investigated the accident.

The driver of the car that rear-ends a leading vehicle will almost always be considered at least partially negligent. Every driver has a duty to follow other vehicles at a safe distance. The reason for this is because car drivers sometimes suddenly, and unexpectedly, slow down or come to a stop — to avoid a hazard in the road, for example, or simply because of traffic congestion. You are expected to have enough distance between you and the car in front of you to prevent a collision if such an unanticipated stop becomes necessary

Common Causes of Multi-Car Accidents

Driver error is almost always at play in car accidents, but these contributing factors are especially common in multi-vehicle crashes:

Weather: Bad weather conditions often result in low visibility and slippery roads. Snow, ice, rain, and fog are just some of the conditions that can quickly turn an otherwise safe road into a hazardous one.

Speeding: Driving fast is the leading cause of motor vehicle accidents in the United States. At high speed, one wrong turn of the wheel can set off a chain reaction of bent steel, broken glass, and serious injuries.

Falling Asleep: When a driver falls asleep, even for a split second, there’s no one driving the car. It only takes a second for a driverless car to drift into another lane, careen off the road, or plow into the car in front.

Intoxication: Drivers under the influence aren’t just the stereotypical drunk driver. DUI can include the use of prescription medications and illicit drugs, as well as alcohol.

Cell Phones: No list of causes for multi-vehicle accidents is complete without including cell phones. Talking, texting, taking photos, and checking email are some of the leading causes of collisions. Distracted drivers are dangerous drivers.

Police Chases: High-speed police chases often cause collisions. Although many cities now restrict police chases to crimes involving serious felonies, there are still instances of officers or suspects losing control of their vehicles during a chase.

Other Distractions: Loud music, conversations with passengers, reading maps, eating, putting on makeup, and general boredom or inattention can also lead to accidents.

What to do if you are in a Multi-Vehicle Car Wreck

Anytime you are in a multi-vehicle car wreck, you should:

  • Assess injuries and call an ambulance if needed,
  • Call the police and request the come make a police report,
  • Take a PICTURE! Photograph the vehicles and scene so that the order or impacts may be determined later by an accident, expert if necessary,
  • Move to a safe area if possible so you do not get hit again,
  • Do not give any recorded statements to adjusters,
  • Call your own insurance and report the collision,
  • Call a car accident lawyer for advice.

The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to purchase coverage to protect you and the people in your vehicle.  As previously stated, obtaining Underinsured Motorist coverage may be your only saving grace is multiple parties are fighting for the small pot of money.  Your own passenger can sue you for damages if you cause the collision in addition to other drivers. So, you need higher liability insurance limits to protect you from this. Second, raising your PIP and underinsured motorist coverage limits can afford you more protection for when someone else causes a multi-car accident and does not carry enough coverage.  Talk to your insurance agent before you get in a wreck to get these protections. Afterwards is too late.

Attorney Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez, LLC in Tampa provides legal representation for families in auto accident injury and wrongful death cases. Our Tampa personal injury attorneys welcome the opportunity to interview with you and your loved ones. We invite you to review our recent results from settlements to trial verdicts. Our qualifications and background are available to you as well. Our Tampa Attorneys Martin Hernandez and Daniel Fernandez are bilingual as well.  Just call us at 813-229-5353 for your free consultation.

The Tampa personal injury lawyers of Fernandez & Hernandez, serve Florida communities including Tampa, Brandon, Carrollwood, Westchase, Riverview, Temple Terrace, Pasco, Pinellas, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Lakeland, Plant City, Ruskin, Apollo Beach, Dover, Valrico, Lutz, Lakeland and many other neighborhoods in Tampa Bay area. Contact an Experienced Tampa Auto Accident Attorney from Fernandez & Hernandez Law.

If you have been involved in an Auto Accident in the Tampa Bay area, call Tampa personal injury lawyer Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez for a free consultation now.  We recommend also reading his reviews on Google Reviews, Avvo and Yelp.

Call Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813-229-5353 or read more at: www.InjuryLawyersOfTampa.com

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What are the most common types of injuries in a rear-end collision?

What are the most common types of injuries in a rear-end collision?

By: Your Tampa Auto Accident Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez, Esq.

There are many types of injuries people suffer in a car accident, particularly in rear-end collision.  Rear-end accidents often take victims by surprise, throwing them backwards and then forwards.  This happens suddenly as they idle at a stop light or coming to a stop in traffic. While many rear-end accidents allow the victims to walk away with no injuries at all, there are several common injuries that can be very serious and sometimes manifest (develop) overtime.

These are the five most common injuries sustained in a rear-end car accident.

Soft Tissue

One of the most common auto accident injuries, flexion/extension injuries occur to the soft issue of the spine, caused by extreme jolting of the body. This type of injury takes fairly heavy trauma, as many people endure roller coasters and sudden fall without problem. The body is able to handle normal movements and even movements slightly outside the extreme, but when a car unexpectedly rams into your car, even at low speeds, the sudden snapping of your head forward and back can place unusual pressure on your spine, causing damage.

Symptoms of these injuries include pain between the shoulder blades or neck, headaches, dizziness, and even vision impairment. Because of the adrenaline rushing through your body immediately following your accident, you may not experience symptoms right away. In fact, some victims do not realize they have this injury for days (or even weeks) following an accident. Because these injuries can cause very painful symptoms, experts recommend seeking medical help as soon as symptoms begin.  Don’t forget about Florida’s 14-day rule.

Herniation

Herniation occurs when the outer fiber surrounding a disk becomes torn, usually due to trauma. A patient can experience a herniated disk in the cervical or thoracic region, but spinal disk herniations usually occur in the lumbar region. In serious cases, a patient may experience severe back pain, numbness, tingling, and, in some cases, paralysis.

Brain Injury

This is a less common type of rear-end auto accident injury, with neck and back injuries far more common. Brain injuries most often happen in front-end and side collisions, where more direct impact usually occurs. If a passenger or driver in the impacted car is not wearing a seatbelt, there is a higher risk of brain injury, especially if the head hits something. While traumatic brain injury may not be as common as spinal injuries in rear-end collision, they can be extremely severe when they do occur, with victims risking permanent damage and even death.

Broken Bones

Many people think a broken leg or arm is nothing severe. Simply set it in a cast and heal within a specified period of time. However, bone breakages can be extremely severe, especially in the case of rear-end auto accidents. Broken bones can lead to complications such as injuries to organs and incorrectly fused bones, leading to lifelong limb deformity. Even in the case where a bone heals correctly, the patient may continue to experience decreased functionality in that particular limb, sometimes permanently.

Concussion

With any head trauma, medical personnel will watch for symptoms of a concussion. As with the aforementioned brain injury, a concussion is most often at risk in a rear-end collision if the accident victim’s head struck something, like the dashboard or windshield. A concussion occurs when a person’s brain strikes his or her skull, causing an injury. Concussions are like other auto accident injuries in that they don’t necessarily reveal themselves at the scene of the crash. In fact, physicians will often recommend family members watch head trauma victims for at least the twenty-four hours following an accident.

Symptoms include headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, inability to concentrate, and sensitivity to sounds and light. At first suspicion of a concussion, a patient should seek medical treatment immediately, as serious complications could follow.

According to data from the National Traffic Safety Bureau (NTSB), in 2012 alone, there were “more than 1.7 million rear-end crashes… resulting in more than 1,700 fatalities and 500,000 injured people.”

This makes rear-end collisions one of the most common types of auto accidents in the country, and a leading cause of accidental injuries. These injuries cost Americans millions of dollars in medical fees, rehabilitation, and lost wages every year.

If you’ve been in a rear-end auto accident, consider that symptoms can lead to permanent damage if left unchecked. It’s vital to watch for symptoms of head injury or back injury and seek medical attention if you suspect serious damage has occurred.

If you do not have a doctor to evaluate and treat you for your injuries from your car accident (rear-end collision), ask us today for a list of doctors near you (home or work).

Tampa Attorney Martin J. Hernandez

Attorney Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez, LLC in Tampa provides legal representation for families in auto accident injury and wrongful death cases. Our Tampa personal injury attorneys welcome the opportunity to interview with you and your loved ones. We invite you to review our recent results from settlements to trial verdicts. Our qualifications and background are available to you as well. Our Tampa Attorneys Martin Hernandez and Daniel Fernandez are bilingual as well.  Just call us at 813-229-5353 for your free consultation.

The Tampa personal injury lawyers of Fernandez & Hernandez, serve Florida communities including Tampa, Brandon, Carrollwood, Westchase, Riverview, Temple Terrace, Pasco, Pinellas, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Lakeland, Plant City, Ruskin, Apollo Beach, Dover, Valrico, Lutz, Lakeland and many other neighborhoods in Tampa Bay area. Contact an Experienced Tampa Auto Accident Attorney from Fernandez & Hernandez Law.

If you have been involved in an Auto Accident in the Tampa Bay area, call Tampa personal injury lawyer Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez for a free consultation now.  We recommend also reading his reviews on Google Reviews, Avvo and Yelp.

Call Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813-229-5353 or read more at: www.InjuryLawyersOfTampa.com

#GetLawyeredUpNow #DUI #Tampa #Attorney #Lawyer #Accident #Injury #Truck

How long do I have to file an insurance claim after an auto accident in Florida?

How long do I have to file an insurance claim after an auto accident in Florida?

By: Tampa Injury Lawyer, Martin J. Hernandez, Esq.

Filing a claim for injuries or property damages is a hassle.  You are the victim and you are the one inconvenienced.  Insult to injury.  But how long do you have to file an insurance claim?

As with all things in the law, it depends.  For example, you have 14-days to file a Personal Injury Protection claim, but 4 years to file a law suit.

Under Florida Statute § 95.11(3)(a), the statute of limitations for drivers to file an accident claim in court is four years after the date of the crash.  If you miss this deadline by even one day, you will be unable to recover any compensation for your accident.  While four years may sound like a lot of time to file a law suit, there are several exceptions to the four-year timeline.  In those cases, drivers have an even shorter period of time to file their claims.

What are the exceptions to the four-year statute of limitations?

The four-year statute of limitations is only for accident claims based on the negligence of the other driver for injuries.  But if someone died in the crash, your claim will be based on wrongful death instead of negligence and then you only have two years to file your claim before the statute of limitations for your crash runs out and you lose your right to compensation.  Wrongful death claims are very complicated and time is more of the essence here than anywhere else.

Also, if the party you are filing your claim against is a government employee, you face different deadlines. If suing the government following a car accident, you must provide notice within three years of the accident and cannot file a lawsuit until following a 180-day (six-month) investigation period, unless the government denies the claim.  This theory of sovereign immunity is very complicated and the correct forms need to filed beforehand.  We routinely file it immediately so that we do not lose time.

Are there deadlines for filing a claim with my own insurance company?

Since Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state, you must first file a claim with your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, regardless of fault, before you file a liability claim against or sue the other driver. And with PIP insurance comes another important deadline: the 14-day treatment requirement.

The 14-day treatment requirement is a rule established by Florida Statute 627.736(1)(a) that states that those injured in a car crash must seek medical attention within two weeks of the crash. If you visit the doctor on the 15th day, you will lose your right to compensation through PIP insurance.

 Act Quickly to Preserve Evidence for Your Claim

After a car crash, some drivers are not ready to file an accident claim right away. It’s natural to want to delay the claims process, especially when you know you have a few years to do it and if you are hospitalized or recuperating after the crash.

But this is a bad idea.  The longer you wait to file your claim, the less likely you will be able to recover important evidence from the crash.  Furthermore, in my experience, cases get worse with time. Not better. For example, while you were getting back on your feet, the other driver may have moved, died, and recollection gets worse. And the longer you wait, the worse eyewitnesses’ recollections may become.

Tampa Attorney Martin J. Hernandez

Attorney Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez, LLC in Tampa provides legal representation for families in auto accident injury and wrongful death cases. Our Tampa personal injury attorneys welcome the opportunity to interview with you and your loved ones. We invite you to review our recent results from settlements to trial verdicts. Our qualifications and background are available to you as well. Our Tampa Attorneys Martin Hernandez and Daniel Fernandez are bilingual as well.  Just call us at 813-229-5353 for your free consultation.

The Tampa personal injury lawyers of Fernandez & Hernandez, serve Florida communities including Tampa, Brandon, Carrollwood, Westchase, Riverview, Temple Terrace, Pasco, Pinellas, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Lakeland, Plant City, Ruskin, Apollo Beach, Dover, Valrico, Lutz, Lakeland and many other neighborhoods in Tampa Bay area. Contact an Experienced Tampa Auto Accident Attorney from Fernandez & Hernandez Law.

If you have been involved in an Auto Accident in the Tampa Bay area, call Tampa personal injury lawyer Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez for a free consultation now.  We recommend also reading his reviews on Google Reviews, Avvo and Yelp.

Call Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813-229-5353 or read more at: www.InjuryLawyersOfTampa.com

#GetLawyeredUpNow #Tampa #Attorney #Lawyer #Accident #Injury

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What to Do After a Vehicle Accident

What to Do After a Vehicle Accident

– by Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez

Tampa Bay Area Auto Accident Injury Lawyer

The Personal Injury and wrongful death attorneys at the Fernandez & Hernandez know what to do to help you and your family following any kind of accident.

What to Do After a Car AccidentAfter an accident, it is important to determine whether anyone witnessed the accident. In some accident situations it can take a while for police to arrive. During that time, a valuable eyewitness may leave the scene. Insurance companies often delay or otherwise deny valid claims by arguing that there is fault on the innocent, injured driver’s part. This is why the driver should try to obtain witness information.

A driver must stop the vehicle immediately after an accident and should position the vehicle in a manner that will not obstruct other motorists. It is not unusual for another vehicle to come crashing into the scene of a car accident. Many accidents are made worse when another driver slows to look at an accident and an inattentive driver crashes into them, sending both cars into the first accident scene. You can minimize the risk of harm to yourself and others by making sure neither you nor the other parties are exposed to the danger of a second accident. If the accident is minor and nobody was injured, move the vehicles off the road is possible to avoid obstructing traffic.  However, if the accident led to injury, death or major property damage, the cars should remain in place until law enforcement arrives. Turn on the car’s hazard lights or place warning triangles on the road. Irrespective of whether the cars remain on the road or are moved, all persons should move out of the road.

If someone has been hurt, a driver should attempt to secure medical help right away, and a driver should remain at the scene until help arrives. Leaving the scene of a car accident prematurely is referred to as a hit-and-run and is a serious offense especially if injury or death occurred. Even when the car accident does not seem serious and there are no obvious injuries, it is best to play it safe by staying to make an accurate assessment of the damage. Make sure everyone else is alright and provide first aid where required and do not move seriously injured individuals.

Accidents involving an injury or death, a hit-and-run or intoxicated driver, or property damage that appears to be over $500, should be reported to law enforcement immediately. The investigating officer will make a written report on all accidents involving a death or injury.

If an officer completes a crash report you will not need to personally file a crash report. However, if a crash report has not been filed by law enforcement, you will need to do so within 10 days of the accident.

If you are in an accident involving an unoccupied vehicle or property other than a vehicle, you are required to notify the owner. If you cannot find the owner, then attach a note to the damaged vehicle or property which contains your name, address, and license plate number. Also, report the accident to law enforcement right away.

Take pictures of the accident scene. It can be very helpful to take a few photos of the accident scene and how the cars were positioned. Insurance companies will use any excuse to deny paying a claim. Having a picture of the cars showing how they were positioned immediately after the accident is often helpful in explaining how the accident occurred and who was at fault.

Get medical attention. In many cases, the injured individual does not realize they are hurt until hours or days later. Some people do not seek medical attention hoping their symptoms get better. Serious neck and back injuries can result, even from low impact car accidents, such as rear end car accidents. Getting prompt medical attention is important to document the injuries and establish that they were in fact, caused by the car accident.

Call 911 and the Police. The 911 call is an official notification that an accident has occurred and you can request medical assistance if there is an injury or fatality. Calling law enforcement will provide important support in a potential lawsuit in the future since law enforcement will write a report that records their assessment of who was at fault. The police record will detail all key elements of the collision including names, vehicle registration, road conditions and witness statements.

Under the Florida No-Fault Law, every driver who operates a motor vehicle registered in the State of Florida, must have a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. A driver’s PIP coverage is meant to cover medical bills and lost wages the driver may suffer in an accident, no matter who caused the accident. This PIP will cover the first $10,000 of a person’s medical coverage, minus the deductible, and will come from the operators insurance, no matter who was at fault.  Please note that while PIP is mandatory in Florida, it covers only medical bills and lost wages, not any damage that results from an accident whether that is damage to property or the car itself.

Once an accident occurs, the insurance companies of the drivers involved will usually establish who is financially liable. Many times, the matter is closed with mutual agreement. In other instances however, one party may want the issue decided by the courts.

Contact a personal injury attorney to discuss the specifics of your case and decide whether you need legal representation.  A personal injury attorney could mean the difference between getting a settlement that barely covers your expenses or a settlement or verdict that pays all of your bills and allows you to get back to living your life.

At Fernandez & Hernandez, we understand that being seriously injured or suffering the sudden loss of a loved one is a traumatic and life changing event.  If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a drunk driver in the Tampa Bay area contact a personal injury lawyer at Fernandez & Hernandez to schedule a free consultation.

Fernandez & Hernandez is a well-known personal injury law firm located in Tampa, Florida which represents clients in all types of accident, injury, and wrongful death claims.  We give each client the attention and guidance needed to obtain the compensation they deserve.  Our Tampa Bay personal injury lawyers help clients in all phases of injury and wrongful death claims from initial investigation through trial and appellate proceedings.

Call Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813-229-5353 or read more at: InjuryLawyersOfTampa.com

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What types of Auto Accident Cases Do We Handle?

What Types of Auto Accident Cases Do We Handle?

Martin HernandezFernandez and Hernandez handle auto accident injury caes of Fernandez & Hernandez handles a variety of personal injury cases resulting from car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents including those auto accidents caused by:

If you have been in an automobile accident, you should contact a Tampa car accident attorney at Fernandez & Hernandez at 813-229-5353 or visit our website at InjuryLawyersOfTampa.com

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