Almost daily the question is posed by someone: “Do I need a car accident attorney?” The quick answer is there are certain times when you definitely will.

There’s Been Serious Injury, or Someone has Died in the Accident

If a person was seriously injured or killed in the accident, you need to immediately contact an experienced lawyer. These types of accidents can result in complicated lawsuits or you may even need to file a lawsuit of your own to recoup the cost of your injuries’ medical treatment. Regardless which side of the law you’re on, the court will need to consider all the complex issues that are involved to determine the amount of the settlement. Since this could be quite costly you don’t want to represent yourself. Your car accident attorney will know what is fair and be able to guide you through this process. This typically begins with a free consultation so you don’t initially have to worry about consulting with an attorney

You Need Ongoing Care so You Can’t Work

When you’re injured so badly you can’t return to work afterwards a lawyer ensures that you receive the maximum compensation possible. It’s their job to calculate the amount of compensation to which you’re entitled. As they do so they’ll take into account any time you’ve missed from work, as well as how much your medical treatment will cost both now and in the future.

More Than one Person was Injured

Accidents involving three or more vehicles, pedestrians, property, or commercial entities complicates your insurance claim’s settlement and negotiation process and may result in several lawsuits. When you’re injured in this type of accident you should contact a lawyer immediately to discuss your case. They’ll help you fight for the compensation you deserve while keeping your liability to the minimum. They’re also responsible for communicating with the other parties’ attorneys as well as all insurance companies involved – something that can save you a huge headache.

There was an Uninsured Motorist Involved

If anyone didn’t have insurance at the time of the accident, it’s important to get a car accident attorney immediately. Motorists are required to have insurance to pay for any accident they may cause while driving. Unfortunately, not everyone obeys the law and when this happens your lawyer will help you evaluate your options and, if necessary, file a civil lawsuit to recover your monetary damages.

Evidence Concerning the Accident Needs to be Collected

When you’re injured in a car accident a lawyer can help you collect and analyze evidence to show who’s at fault and the monetary amount of the damages that occurred. If you’re driving a newer vehicle this is easier because they’ll typically contain a “black box” that records critical information when an accident occurs. This information can be used to establish how fast your vehicle was moving during the time of the accident and if you’re wearing your seatbelt. To access the other driver’s black box you’ll need a court order.

There are Upcoming Settlement Talks

Typically, a car accident lawsuit is settled before going to trial. This means you’ll receive a settlement from the driver who’s at fault. Unfortunately, this is usually an unreasonably low amount of money. You don’t have to settle for anything that isn’t fair because if you do, you’ll give up your rights. This is why it’s important to understand the extent of your damages and injuries before you engage in any negotiations. This is where an experienced car accident attorney can oftentimes get you a more favorable settlement.

When you find yourself in need of a car accident attorney in Tampa, FL make sure you reach out to the Rojas Law Group. They have the experience you need on your side.

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You may wonder how so many parking lot car accidents are happening today. These areas have some of the lowest speeds on the road, yet you oftentimes hear about cars crashing into buildings, driving off parking garages, and running people over. It’s enough to make you think you’re dealing with bumper cars in a maze.

Parking lot Accidents in Florida

These accidents often encompass more than a simple fender bender. In Florida there were over 32 people killed in such crashes last year while another 7,000 people suffered injuries. These numbers continue to grow each year in Tampa Bay. In fact, between 2015 and 2018 there was a 16% increase with over 5,600 accidents in 2018 alone. Unfortunately, this number is higher than all alcohol-related, motorcycle, and pedestrian accidents combined.

Why so Many Accidents are Occurring

There are so many parking lot car accidents happening today because of distracted driving. The statistics the National Safety Council has gathered about people driving through American parking lots today is scary. It found that:

  • 66% of drivers admit to talking on their cell phones
  • 56% say they text and send or receive emails
  • 49% admit to taking photos and watching videos

It seems as if drivers believe that since they’re not driving on a main thoroughfare the same rules no longer apply. Obviously, this isn’t true at all. In fact, Sgt. Steve Gaskins of the Florida Highway Patrol strives to remind drivers that they’re driving a two-ton vehicle whose physics don’t change regardless of where you’re driving it at. He says that even when you’re driving a vehicle at a slow speed, the fact that you’re moving means that you have 5,000 pounds of metal and steel rolling through your hands that could cause injury or death. Unfortunately, many drivers seem to no longer understand or remember this fact of basic physics when they climb behind the wheel of a seat of a car.

Since drivers aren’t paying enough attention to what’s going on around them it means that pedestrians must be on the lookout for these drivers. One person admitted that they saw the car coming from one direction when it hit them leaving a bruised hip behind. This is one of the minor things that happens to a growing number of people each year. Other more drastic things include cars crashing into stores and people getting ran over. About 7,000 people suffered from injuries due to such accidents and another 32 people died – this just in the state of Florida during the year of 2018 alone. It’s a 16% increase from the 5,600 accidents that occurred in 2015, only three years earlier.

Conclusion

Hopefully you’ll never be involved in a parking lot car accident, but if you are, you should know that you have someone on your side. The Rojas Law Group is there to help you recuperate your losses so you can continue living the life you knew before the accident. So if you ever get into one of these accidents, make sure you contact them right away.

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Summertime in Florida often brings strong storms and torrential downpours. Unfortunately, these conditions oftentimes catch drivers by surprise and may result in a dangerous car accident. The best way of avoiding such accidents is to know what to expect and how to manage these difficulties when they arise.

Safety Tips for Driving in a Rainstorm

Since you can’t always avoid driving through a rainstorm, you may be able to avoid a car accident by adhering to some safety tips, including:

  • Keep a close eye on weather conditions when planning to drive
  • Pull off to the side of the road until a bad rainstorm passes
  • Always carry a roadside emergency kit in your vehicle

Knowing how to Maintain Your Vehicle

By taking proper care of your car you’ll make it less likely that you’ll lose control of it when driving in wet conditions. One of the most important things to always remember here is to replace your wiper blades every 6 months and rotate your tires every 6,000 miles. If your windshield still becomes foggy you should use defrost on warm or open your rear windows so air flows throughout your car.

Knowing how to Drive Properly on wet Roads

When you’re driving in wet conditions there are some tips that’ll help you not to skid, hydroplane, or lose control of your vehicle. These include:

  • Slow down because it takes longer to stop and maneuver in the rain.
  • Stay in the middle lane since water is known to collect in the outer-most lanes.
  • Allow the car in front of you to act as a guide since the road will be dryer there.
  • Stay away from large trucks that reduce your visibility.
  • Since brakes take on water, limiting your ability to stop, make sure you limit the amount of braking you do.

Knowing When to use Your Hazard Lights

When you suddenly happen upon a rainstorm you may want to turn on your hazard lights. This isn’t always a good idea though. While they make it easier for others to see you, they may also think that you’ve stopped and need help. Additionally, they may reduce your ability to use your turn signals and brake lights which could result in a car accident. There are also places where it’s illegal to use them during a rainstorm.

Knowing how to Drive with Flash Flooding

It’s very dangerous to drive your car through floodwaters. Not only could it potentially damage your vehicle’s electrical system and braking mechanism, but it could also harm you and your passengers who may easily be swept away by the rushing water. A good rule of thumb is that if you can’t see the road under the water, don’t drive through it.

Know who to Call When You’re in a car Accident

Serious vehicle accidents may still occur and when they do you should contact the Rojas Law Group. Their skilled attorneys routinely help those who are involved in these accidents obtain the compensation they deserve for the injuries they’ve sustained.

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While you can’t change the weather, you can change how you respond to it, especially during hurricane season. When you’re driving this can mean the difference between getting into a car accident and arriving safely at your destination. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to avoid this season’s most common driving dangers.

Now through November 30 you’re faced with the hurricane season – especially from August through October. Although hurricanes aren’t too bad on the transportation industry, oftentimes there are lingering effects on the humans within the industry. For instance, Hurricane Harvey impacted about 10% of Texas’ trucking operations at some level in August 2017. Not only was some of the industry’s equipment and shipments damaged but drivers themselves faced threats before, during, and after the storm.

Expectations Before a Hurricane

Start monitoring the weather a few days before the hurricane is expected to hit. This is important because strong winds can start to make driving treacherous, pulling your car and flipping even larger vehicles like tractor-trailers. This is when you need to really stay alert, slow your speed down, and do your best to get off the road as soon as possible. When you do park your vehicle, make sure it’s next to a building that’ll help cut down the wind’s direct path so your vehicle doesn’t flip over.

Throughout the storm make sure you watch your local weather for any sudden, unexpected changes that may occur. You should also watch the U.S. Department of Transportation website for current road conditions and closings. Despite what you hear or see you must also remember to never drive your car through high water or when you can’t see the road. You don’t know if there’s a downed power line or other debris there.

Expectations After a Hurricane

Even though the hurricane season may be over there are still many things you need to watch for. It’s always good to heed these tips, especially directly after a hurricane:

  • Be on the lookout for damage caused by crumbling infrastructure or washouts.
  • Make sure your has enough fuel for dealing with traffic jams. Remember fuel stations in the affected area is probably closed.
  • Bring extra food and water for you. It’s difficult to find these things in the affected areas.
  • Don’t rely on GPS because you don’t know if the communication system may be down or overloaded. Bring a paper map along with you.

Preparing for More Than Hurricane Season

Although it’s important to prepare for driving during hurricane season, you want to make sure that you take precautions so you don’t get into a car accident at any other time of the year either. This is why you should always be prepared for weather changes that could quickly alter road conditions. Set up alerts on your phone so you’re aware of these things as soon as they happen. When you know that they’re happening, make sure you reduce your speed and leave a safe distance between you and the other vehicles around you on the road.

It’s also important to make sure your vehicle is ready for any emergency you may encounter. Make sure you have blankets, extra clothing, and road flares in your trunk. Keep your mirrors, taillights, and windshields clean. These things should go without saying but using your common sense when driving in bad weather really is the best way to avoid a car accident.

Of course, nobody wants to get into a car accident but if you do, you should know that the Rojas Law Group is there to help represent you. They’ve helped many people navigate their way through insurance and litigation over the years. If you’re in an accident this year, turn to them and let them help you put your life back together too.

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When it comes to pedestrian accidents, Florida has more than anywhere else in the United States – over 5,433 pedestrian deaths in the 10-year span. Since pedestrians don’t have anything to protect them, these accidents can be severe. As a pedestrian there are some things you can do to feel safe, protect yourself, and help avoid these accidents.

How Pedestrians can Avoid Accidents

There are a few things that you as a pedestrian should always do to keep yourself safe. These include:

  • Only cross the road in designated crossing areas: There’s a reason that the Department of Transportation puts a lot of work into planning where they establish crossing areas. It’s their job to determine where it’s safe for you to do so. By sticking to these areas you’re utilizing the traffic control areas they’ve set up there for your safety.
  • Don’t rely on drivers seeing you: Many drivers don’t pay as much attention to the road as they should. Some are under the influence of drugs and alcohol. This is why it’s important for you to make sure that all the vehicles have stopped before you cross the road – something that you should do even when you know you have the right of way.
  • Watch out for all vehicles – not just those that are stopped: It’s possible for one vehicle to see you and stop while another quickly passes that vehicle because they didn’t see you crossing the street there. This is why you must always look for other vehicles even when you’re in a crosswalk. Even when you’re walking by a parked car you should still look to see if there are any other cars around you.

Determining Who’s at Fault After a Pedestrian Accident

No matter how hard you try, you may still get into a pedestrian accident. When this happens there are three possibilities of who is at fault:

  • The driver
  • The pedestrian
  • Both the driver and the pedestrian

Even if you do share in the blame, you may still be able to bring a claim against the driver for your injuries. To make this determination you should seek out a lawyer who’s experienced with pedestrian accidents. They’ll also help you understand what your recovery options are.

Staying Safe on the Roads

Staying safe on the roads is important for everyone. Slow down and look around. Doing so could help prevent an accident and the possibility of suffering from some severe injuries. If you do get injured in a pedestrian accident, you should contact a qualified personal injury attorney at the Rojas Law Group right away. When you discuss your case with them, they’ll examine all the details surrounding the accident and tell you what the best course of action for you to take will be. This is something they’ve done for many people over the years and if you’re in an accident, you deserve to enlist their help too. Call them today.

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Parents think safety first when raising their children. Unfortunately, when they put their children on the school bus each day in Tampa safety isn’t always first. In fact, Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ (FDHSMV) statistics show that the number of school bus accidents is rising. Between 2012 – 2015 there’s been a 16% increase in the number of accidents statewide. In 2015 alone 2,698 school bus accidents were reported in Florida.

Why School bus Accidents are Increasing

Many say that the increased number of accidents is caused by there being more students enrolled in public schools taking the bus today. These areas in Florida have a higher overall population as well. However, these aren’t the only reasons why these accidents are happening. According to the FDHSMV there are also more bus routes that need covered, which has caused an influx of new, inexperienced drivers.

Not all of Tampa’s school bus accidents are the bus drivers’ fault though. There are also many instances in which they’re caused by a car accident in which an impatient motorist attempts to pass the bus or fails to stop behind them. This is why school bus drivers are required to report any vehicle that illegally passes their stop sign but according to the yearly survey conducted by the Florida Department of Education thousands of motorists continue to do so. This is should be alarming to every parent who puts their child on a school bus each morning.

How Florida is Trying to Stop These car Accidents

Florida is trying to make school buses safer. As such they’ve approved the following safety requirements for every school bus in the state:

  • Making fire-retardant seating mandatory
  • Implementing heavy-duty brake systems
  • Adding additional emergency exits so students can quickly and easily evacuate a bus if it gets into an accident
  • Ensuring the integrity of the bus’s fuel system
  • Placing dual stop signal arms and front bumper student crossing arms on all buses

Florida is also leading the nation in calling for safety belts to be installed on all buses. They’re not only making this a rally cry but they’re also installing two-point seat belts on all buses. While California is also working on a similar measure, they’re also making sure each student knows how to properly use these seatbelts – something that Florida doesn’t currently do. Nevertheless, this measure is seemingly working and while Florida does have more accidents, they do have less injuries from said accidents.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, car accidents are unavoidable. If your child is hurt in a school bus accident you should know that you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and physical injuries. There are some insurance companies that are known to either underpay or deny a claim. If you feel that you need help with a bus or car accident case, make sure you contact the Rojas Law Group today. They will help you get what you and your child deserve.

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Recently the Wall Street Journal ran an alarming headline stating that Pinellas County, Florida is the most dangerous place to ride a bike in America today. This is the area located right outside of the Tampa Bay Metro area. This is something that the Tampa Bay Times refutes though. What makes this so interesting is that both newspapers gathered their information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The difference lies in the fact that the Wall Street Journal gathered their information from a 10-year period while the Tampa Bay Times looked specifically at the past 5 years.

What Statistics Show

Statistics show that in 2016 Florida was the deadliest state for bicyclists. The fatality rate was 6.7 out of 1 million people which is more than half of the national average: 2.6 million. However, Pasco County had more deaths than Pinellas when looking at all the counties located around Tampa Bay. Their average was .77 per 100,000 people throughout the 5 years that were perused. During this same time these statistics were also discovered:

  • Hillsborough had .75 per 100,000 people
  • Pinellas had .71 per 100,000 people
  • Hernando had .46 per 100,000 people
  • Citrus had .43 per 100,000 people
  • Manatee 1 per 100,000 people
  • Sarasota 1 per 100,000 people

These are the 7 counties that the traffic safety administration includes in the Tampa Bay metro area. When you factor in all 7 counties, you see that Pinellas moves even further down on the list.

What This Data Means

Spokeswoman Kathryn Henry from the Tampa Bay Times clarified this information. In doing so she consulted with the agency’s data team. Together they formed the theory that Pinellas clearly doesn’t have the highest rate of fatalities caused by bicycle accidents. While the county did have a high rate of these fatalities in 2013, this isn’t the case now in 2019.

Steve Severinghaus from the Wall Street Journal replied to Henry’s statement by saying that his newspaper had considered over a decade’s worth of information when conducting their analysis. He said this data also included the most recent information that was presented by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In conclusion Severinghaus stated that the paper was confident in the accuracy and quality of their reporting on this matter.

What the Wall Street Journal somehow managed to overlook was the fact that the Florida Department of Transportation saw 2011 as a turning point when it came to bicycle safety initiatives. It may be this fact that accounts for the difference between the 5 and 10 year analysis.

Conclusion

The number of fatalities caused by bicycle accidents has been increasing throughout the country as more people using bikes for transportation. According to the traffic safety administration, there were 840 deaths in the U.S. in 2016 alone – the highest rate since 1991. If you are a bike rider in this area who’s gotten into a bicycle accident, make sure you contact the Rojas Law Group. They’ve successfully defended many bikers over the years and look forward to helping you as well.

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When you get into a car accident you should seriously consider hiring an experienced auto accident attorney to help you recover your losses, reduce the amount of paperwork you must do, and do away with the overall hassle that’s involved. Knowing when to hire legal aid can mean the difference between resolving your case fairly and owing a lot of money for damages. There are a few things you should know to determine when to hire legal help after a car accident.

Reasons for Hiring an Auto Accident Attorney

Car accidents happen every day. In fact, they make up most personal injury claims in the United States today. While a lot of these are minor accidents that you can handle by contacting your insurance company, when there’s physical injury or significant damage you should seek experienced legal representation. They can help ensure that your losses are covered.

What to Look for in an Attorney

There are many issues an auto accident attorney can handle for you. These include personal injury, property damage, wrongful death, and liability issues. Make sure you look at an attorney’s experience, commitment, skill level, location, and fees. Most lawyers will accept cases on a contingency meaning “no win, no fee” if they feel you have a solid case. If you do win, your attorney will get a percentage of your personal injury award – anywhere from one-third to 40% of its total depending on the state that you live in. You may still need to pay attorney fees though since these are out-of-pocket expenses that are associated with your case.

When to Hire an Attorney

Make sure you hire an auto accident attorney right away so you don’t make any costly mistakes. The deadline for doing so varies depending on the state you live in. However, the sooner, the better since you may have medical bills to pay or you may need to recover lost wages. This is why you should never wait any more than a few weeks and you should always make this contact before you reach a settlement with any insurance company that’s involved.

What to ask Your Attorney

Before you choose which attorney, you want to work with, make sure you have all the facts about the accident written down, including information about injuries and financial losses. You should also have your insurance policy, any information that was exchanged at the time of the accident, medical records, and any other documents ready when you meet with your attorney. At your first meeting, before signing any contracts, you should ask the attorney:

  • How much of your practice is devoted to car accident cases?
  • How much experience do you have with cases like the one I’ve been involved in?
  • How much of a settlement should I expect?
  • How much of the case do you handle?
  • What’s your fee structure?
  • Are there any out-of-pocket fees that I must cover?

When you’re ready to hire an auto accident attorney, make sure you contact the Rojas Law Group. They will prove an invaluable resource to you after your accident like they have for many others over the years so make sure you contact them today.

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