Car crashes are always frightening experiences, even if they turn out to be relatively minor. You should take every accident seriously, as even a so-called fender bender can result in injuries, concerns, and other disruptions to your life. More severe crashes can alter the rest of your life completely due to catastrophic injuries and permanent disabilities.
After a crash, you might realize you cannot work and need seemingly endless medical treatment, and all of this can bring additional stress. How will you pay your medical expenses? How can you support your household without an income? Where do you even start in finding help to pick up the pieces after your crash?
Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers is here to help car accident victims in and around St. Petersburg. We know you need a dedicated legal team on your side who will stand up for your rights and fight for the full compensation you deserve from whoever caused your accident and injuries.
If you suffered injuries in a crash, we can evaluate your rights for free and advise you of your legal options. Please contact our St. Petersburg car accident lawyers for your no-cost consultation as soon as possible so we can begin helping you.
Choosing the Right Experienced Legal Help
When you are looking for legal guidance after a St. Petersburg car accident, we know that there are many options out there. Searching online for a law firm can bring back millions of results, and how do you know where to start or who to trust?
One factor to look for is the experience of the legal team at a car accident law firm. How many crash victims has the lawyer represented? What were the results of those cases? Always ask these questions before making your choice to best protect yourself.
The team at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers has helped many injured St. Petersburg car accident victims recover the money they needed for their losses after many types of crashes. Firm founder Nicolette Nicoletti grew up just north of St. Petersburg and understands the nature of the community and its residents. Our firm’s dedication to helping this community is unwavering, and we bring everything we have to the table in every single case.
While past case results can never serve as a promise or guarantee for future results, some of our successes illustrate how hard we work for car accident victims in St. Petersburg:
- $2,000,000 for a client who needed surgery and suffered reflex sympathetic dystrophy following a rear-end collision
- $1,700,000 for a crash victim who suffered a traumatic brain injury
- $1,050,000 for a car accident victim who lost their eye
- $1,000,000 for a traumatic brain injury from a car crash
- $900,000 for a client with a brain injury from a collision
We do not shy away from cases involving severe, life-changing injuries and extensive losses, and we have the confidence and experience to handle your claim with the same dedication as past cases.
When you are looking for an experienced St. Petersburg car accident attorney, look no further than Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers. People trust our firm with their car accident claims in St. Petersburg, and you can trust us, too.
Car Accidents in St. Petersburg
Florida reports that about 403,000 car accidents happen across the state each year, and these result in over 250,000 injuries and 3,100 fatalities. These numbers mean that Florida ranks in the top three states for the highest car accident risks.
Specifically, Florida has several highways running through the state that have startling fatality reports for the past decade, including:
- U.S. 1 - 1,011 fatal crashes in ten years
- U.S. 41 - 714 fatal crashes in ten years
- U.S. 27 - 614 crash-related fatalities in ten years
- U.S. 441 - 442 fatalities in ten years
While Florida has many dangerous highways, St. Petersburg and Pinellas County have their own risks of traffic accidents, injuries, and deaths, including those below.
Pinellas County is a prime spot for visitors who come to enjoy its beaches, landmarks, and more. St. Petersburg is a major tourist draw, with its trendy downtown, craft breweries, festivals, outdoor activities, and some of the best beaches in the country. Millions of visitors flock to the St. Petersburg area every year, drawing in billions of dollars in revenue.
With the tourism revenue, however, also comes people who are unfamiliar with the area, countless rideshare vehicles, and other hazards on the road. Many tourists come to the city to let loose, and too many of them decide to drive after drinking. All of these tourism-related factors lead to heightened car accident risks.
Like many major cities, St. Petersburg has vibrant entertainment offerings, with numerous nightclubs, rooftop lounges, and beach bars packed with residents and tourists alike. While these districts exist so people can have a good time, they are also hotbeds for drunk driving and other hazards. Further, these risks do not only exist at night, as many people drive home after having drinks all day in the sun on the beach. A fun, relaxing day can become a nightmare for car accident victims injured by drunk drivers.
Several factors can make certain intersections more dangerous than others, such as traffic density, regular red-light running, higher speed limits, lower visibility, and more.
Some intersections in St. Petersburg that are prone to car accidents:
- 28th Street North and First Avenue North
- US-19 and First Avenue North
- 34th Street and 22nd Avenue
These are far from the only intersections where crashes might occur, but they are notable locations known for traffic hazards.
No matter why or where your car accident happened in St. Petersburg, you should always know your legal rights. If someone else caused your accident and injuries, the law allows you to seek compensation for your losses. Discuss a possible case with our legal team at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers right away.
Common Injuries From Car Accidents
Car accidents are concerning because of the high potential for extremely serious injuries to victims. Even seemingly minor injuries can cause costly problems in your life, and you should take any type of car accident injury seriously and seek medical treatment. Failing to do so can result in worsening effects and complications that become costlier to treat.
Medical professionals diagnose a wide range of injuries in car accident victims, including:
- Concussions and traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Soft tissue strains, sprains, and tears
- Spinal cord injury (SCI)
- Burn injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
In addition to physical traumatic injuries, many car accident victims also develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is a psychological disorder that can have debilitating symptoms and require extensive treatment.
After a car accident, you should assess whether you have any injuries. Some injuries will be clear, and you know you need emergency care. In other situations, you might feel sore, stiff, or simply “out of it.” You might think these are normal feelings after a crash, but they could be signs of soft tissue injuries, concussions, or other injuries. Err on the safe side and have a doctor examine you to make sure you have a clear diagnosis and treatment plan.
Injuries can impact your life in many ways, and even minor injuries can cause you to miss work, incur medical bills, and experience pain during your recovery. Severe injuries can result in permanent impairments, disabilities, or disfigurement that can completely alter your life.
Our legal team at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers works to understand the full implications of your injuries, including potential complications, future medical treatment you might need, and the many ways your injury affects your life. By doing so, we can better fight for your full range of damages and determine the best course of action to obtain the financial recovery you need and deserve.
Causes of St. Petersburg Car Accidents
Knowing what caused your car accident is often essential to seeking your full financial recovery. This is because many crash victims with serious injuries need to file claims against at-fault parties to cover their losses. At Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers, we have investigative resources to determine the cause of an accident and the parties that should be responsible.
Some examples of negligence that can lead to St. Petersburg car accidents include:
- Distracted Driving - Distracted driving is a public health issue in the United States, and St. Petersburg is no exception. Everywhere you look, drivers are looking down at their phones, staring at the coast or other sights out the window, reaching for something in the backseat, and other distracting activities. It only takes a moment of distraction for a driver to slam into your car and cause you harm.
- Impaired Driving - As discussed, St. Petersburg has plenty of options for those who want to partake in some alcoholic beverages. Despite plenty of rideshare and transportation options available, too many people decide to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. This decision can result in devastation for others injured in drunk driving crashes.
- Speeding - Floridians are often impatient on the roads, and many drivers try to get ahead by disregarding speed limits. Speed limits exist for a reason, however, and engineers work hard to determine the maximum speed that is safe for a particular road. When a driver speeds, they can cause serious crashes.
- Aggressive Driving - Speeding is not the only result of impatience or frustration on the road in St. Petersburg. Some drivers engage in a range of dangerous behaviors that constitute aggressive driving. Such behaviors can include tailgating, excessive speeding, weaving in and out of traffic lanes, illegal passing, cutting off other drivers, running red lights, and more. Aggressive driving can also morph into road rage, which involves drivers intentionally acting in a manner that can harm others. Road raging drivers might purposely run others off the road, threaten them with violence or display weapons, use harassing behaviors, and other acts that frighten or harm others on the road. Both aggressive driving and road rage can result in serious injuries.
- Fatigued Driving - When drivers are overly drowsy, they can experience similar impairments to intoxicated drivers. This includes slower reaction times, lack of focus, or even falling asleep at the wheel. Many things can lead to fatigued driving, including working long hours, sleep disorders, medication, and other lifestyle factors. While drowsy driving is not often discussed as being particularly dangerous, these drivers injure many people each year.
St. Petersburg Car Accident FAQ
As the Sunshine State, Florida is known for many positive things, but its traffic record is not one of them. Even with the pandemic, Florida had 341,399 motor vehicle crashes in a recent year, with nearly 4,000 resulting in at least one fatality. Over 15,600 incapacitating injuries also resulted. Approximately 1,000 crashes happen on Florida Roads each day. Suppose you or a family member recently sustained injuries in a motor vehicle crash. In that case, you need a St. Petersburg car accident lawyer who can guide you through a successful injury claim process.
Who Is at Fault for Your Accident?
Only a St. Petersburg car accident attorney who has reviewed the facts of your case and knows Florida's car accident civil statutes can tell you who is liable for your accident. Even if you think you know, you may not. Accidents happen quickly, and you might not know many facts until an attorney performs a comprehensive investigation.
Generally, if a person or party is liable for your accident, the four elements of negligence will apply:
- They owed you a duty of care—for example, to stop at a red light or obey the speed limit.
- They breached or violated that duty of care—for instance, running the red light or speeding.
- Their breach of duty resulted in your injuries—they caused the car accident, which caused your injuries.
- You have compensable damages—as a result of their actions and your injuries, you suffered damages such as pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages.
It’s your St. Petersburg car accident lawyer’s job to prove these elements. If they can’t prove them in court, you won’t receive compensation for your damages. However, receiving full and fair financial recovery for your damages can only happen when you have a well-versed and resourceful attorney, such as the ones at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers.
Sometimes, more than one person or party can be at fault for an accident. For example, a driver runs a red light, hitting another driver who is texting and causing them not to see the car coming. As a result, the hit car gets pushed into oncoming traffic, injuring passengers in another vehicle.
Of course, the driver who ran the red light has liability. However, suppose an attorney can prove that the second driver might have been able to stop their vehicle had they not been texting. In that case, that driver may also be liable for the damages of the other vehicle’s passengers. In some cases, employers share liability for people who cause accidents on the job.
Identifying all sources of liability in a car accident case is important. Some parties might have high insurance policies than others, and you want to ensure you have access to policy limits that cover your losses whenever possible.
What are Compensable Damages?
Compensable damages are monetary awards to the injured party to help make them whole again for their losses. They can be both economic and non-economic. Economic damages cover your financial losses such as lost wages and income, medical bills, prescriptions, and property damage.
On the other hand, non-economic damages are those that don’t have a predetermined value. For example:
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
- Emotional trauma
- Worsening of prior injuries
When negotiating your settlement, your St. Petersburg car accident attorney will account for both types of compensable damages. If your case ends up in court, the court will determine how much your compensable damages are worth. Your economic damages are worth their calculated amounts. Courts typically calculate your non-economic damages by using the total of your economic damages along with a multiplier that is generally between one and five. The worse or more debilitating your injuries are, the higher the multiplier.
Will You Receive Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are rare. Florida law requires that civil courts can only award them under certain circumstances. The person who caused your harm must have been “personally guilty of intentional misconduct or gross negligence.” This means that they must have acted with extreme recklessness or knew that their actions would likely result in your injuries. For example, the courts may order a drunk driver to pay punitive damages. The law allows these types of damages not to compensate the victim for their damages but to punish the other party and deter this type of behavior in the future.
What is a Statute of Limitation?
Under Florida statute 95.11, all personal injury victims, including those injured in motor vehicle accidents, have four years from the date of their injury to file a personal injury case. This strict legal deadline is the “statute of limitations” in legal language. If they wait longer than four years from the date they became hurt to file a claim, they no longer have legal standing to pursue compensation.
As such, you must contact a skilled St. Petersburg car accident lawyer as soon as possible after being involved in a car accident. They can get to work preparing your case and ensuring they file it in the correct court within the deadline.
Where Are St. Petersburg’s Most Dangerous Intersections?
Every large city has intersections that are notorious for being dangerous. St. Petersburg is no different. The three most likely places for intersection accidents to occur in this city include:
The Intersection of 28th St. N. and 1st Ave. N.
The intersection of 28th St. N. and 1st Ave. N. is located in the heart of the Grand Central District and the Historic Kenwood area. This hub connects all the traffic in the area, from I-275 into the city and both the old world and the new. Thankfully not many fatal accidents happen here; however, it is the intersection that sees the most accidents in St. Petersburg.
The Corridor of US-19 and 1st Ave. N.
Further down 1st Ave. is the busy strip of US-19 that intersects 1st Ave. N. This corridor is the city’s hot spot of crashes occurring because of drivers who run red lights. Residents here desperately want red-light cameras installed to help deter drivers from continuing through the intersection after the light is clearly red.
The Intersection of 34th St. and 22nd Ave.
Dozens of accidents happen every year at the intersection of 34th St and 22nd Ave., many resulting in injuries. Local officials expect that this figure will rise due to many new business establishments in the area. This location has projections to become the central hub for downtown. As such, larger roads will reduce the chance of any foot traffic and bring more vehicle traffic.
Tyrone Boulevard North of 66th Street N.
This area lacks a traffic light, and the state denies any plans to add one in the future, although there are lights at 66th St. N. and further up near the movie theater. Without traffic lights, this intersection is awkward at best. Vehicles entering this intersection have the option of four or sometimes five different turning motions. It’s a guessing game as to what motion other cars will make, creating prime conditions for accidents to occur.
While these are intersections where many accidents occur, the fact of the matter is that an accident can happen anywhere—be it down the street from your house or on the other side of the state. No matter where your vehicle collision occurred, you have the right to consult with an experienced St. Petersburg car accident attorney.
What Causes St. Petersburg Car Accidents?
Car accidents can occur for all kinds of reasons, sometimes even multiple reasons.
The most common reasons our attorneys see include:
- Distraction: Drivers face more distractions today than they ever have in the past. Not only can the activity outside of their vehicle and their passengers be distracting, but so can electronic devices. Be it cell phones, tablets, navigational systems, in-vehicle, safety alerts, or sound systems, there’s always something to become distracted with. While looking at a phone for a second or taking a few seconds to admire a sports car might seem innocent enough, it can be quite costly and even deadly.
- Speeding: Speeding is one of the most frequent causes of injury accidents. Not only is speeding more likely to cause an accident in the first place, but it’s also more likely to make an accident worse. At higher speeds, accidents are more traumatic, causing injuries and property damage that are more severe.
- Weather: Even though St. Petersburg doesn’t typically see snow, ice, and other wintry road and weather conditions, rain and wind can still cause hazardous conditions. If drivers aren’t careful to adjust their driving habits accordingly, accidents will occur.
- Drugs and alcohol: Fatalities involving drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol are an ongoing problem, especially in Florida. Too many drivers who shouldn’t get behind the wheel either think they are fine to drive or don’t plan ahead and drive anyway. Even some prescription and over-the-counter drugs can make people unfit to drive.
- Poorly maintained or designed roads: Sometimes accidents are caused due to roads that aren’t maintained the way they should be, creating dangerous conditions. Additionally, some roads aren’t designed safely, to begin with, putting innocent people at risk. An experienced St. Petersburg car accident lawyer can hold municipalities and other liable parties accountable for their negligence in these situations.
- Defective vehicles and parts: Another situation that can cause accidents is if a car or its parts are defective. In these incidents, no matter how safe a driver is or how careful others on the road are, the defective part causes an accident. These claims can be incredibly challenging as they are typically against large companies with corporate attorneys. However, our St. Petersburg car accident attorneys aren’t afraid to hold people accountable for your damages, no matter who they are or what attorneys represent them.
The good news is that you don’t need to determine what caused your accident when you hire one of our well-versed St. Petersburg car accident lawyers. We have the resources to investigate your accident to uncover how it happened and who is responsible.
Should You Speak with the Liable Party’s Insurance Adjuster?
You will inevitably need to communicate with the liable party’s insurance adjuster. However, you should hire an attorney to do so on your behalf. Should the situation ever arise where you need to speak to them or anyone with the insurance company, your St. Petersburg car accident lawyer will come with you to diligently protect your legal rights.
Never speak with their insurance company without your attorney present. You might say something that can hurt your claim and decrease your potential compensation if you do. You could also end up settling for much less than your case is worth. The best advice is to meet with and hire a trustworthy St. Petersburg car accident attorney as soon as possible after a motor vehicle collision. They can take it from here, maximizing your compensation and protecting your legal rights in every way possible.
Injured in a Car Crash? Meet with a Skilled St. Petersburg Car Accident Lawyer Today
At Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers, we have the time and the resources to see your case through. When you bring your case to us, we consider it an honor and a privilege. Our St. Petersburg car accident attorneys will stop at nothing to ensure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve in your case. You can rely on us to take care of your claim from start to finish while allowing you the time and space you need to heal and recover from your injuries.
Call us today at (727) 797-2020 or contact us online for a free consultation with one of our skilled St. Petersburg car accident attorneys. Remember that you will lose your right to compensation if you delay too long.
Seeking Compensation After a Car Accident in St. Petersburg
Florida has no-fault auto insurance laws, which means your own insurance policy should provide reimbursement even if someone else was to blame for the crash. Instead of immediately going after a negligent driver, you will need to file a claim with your personal injury protection (PIP) policy.
PIP aims to provide benefits to injured accident victims faster and relieve the court system of car accident lawsuits. However, most people only have up to $10,000 in PIP insurance, and this coverage only applies to medical bills and a percentage of your lost wages. If you have serious injuries, your PIP policy will likely be inadequate to cover all of your losses.
Accident victims with serious injuries can qualify to file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company or file a personal injury lawsuit against them in civil court if necessary.
Liable parties can include:
- Other drivers
- Employers of drivers who caused crashes while working
- Auto manufacturers for defective vehicle parts
You will need evidence to prove both liability and the extent of your damages. We regularly seek these damages for our injured clients:
- Past medical bills
- The estimated cost of future medical treatment
- Lost income
- Lost future earning ability
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent impairments or disfigurement
Consult Our St. Petersburg Car Accident Attorneys
After a car accident in St. Petersburg, you want Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers on your side. We work tirelessly to investigate accidents and find every way possible for you to recover every dollar of your losses. Contact our St. Petersburg car accident lawyers today at (727) 797-2020 for your completely free case evaluation.