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FAQs: What Makes a Driver Negligent in a Florida Accident?

Trial Pro P.A. is proud to advocate for accident victims all over the state of Florida, including from our Central Florida office in Orlando. Our dedicated experienced personal injury attorneys handle a range of legal matters, from employment disputes to auto accidents claims. We can use our knowledge and legal skills to help you not only achieve a favorable outcome, but relieve the legal burden from your shoulders as well. Our entire team understands how challenging and confusing litigation can be, which is why we are here for you through every step of the process.

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Frequently Asked Questions - What Makes a Driver Negligent in a Florida Accident?

What Makes a Driver Negligent in a Florida Accident?

The legal definition of negligence in Florida is “the failure to use reasonable care, which is the care that a reasonably careful person would use under like circumstances. Negligence is doing something that a reasonably careful person would not do under like circumstances or failing to do something that a reasonably careful person would do under like circumstances”.  In other words, a person’s conduct is evaluated by comparing said person’s actions to the actions of a person engaging in the same activity who is performing said activity in a careful manner.   In addition, a person can be negligent by failing to take action he or she should have taken.

The most common example is a rear end automobile collision.  Because rear end collisions are nearly universally the fault of the rear driver, Florida Law imposes a legal presumption of negligence on all drivers who cause rear end collisions.  Connecting this concept to the definition of automobile negligence, Florida Law recognizes that drivers who cause rear end collisions were not driving in a reasonably careful manner.  In addition, drivers who cause rear end collisions failed to pay adequate attention, which a reasonable careful driver would have done under the same circumstances.   There is a caveat to the rear end presumption of negligence.  If the front vehicle stopped suddenly, with no warning, in a location where the rear driver would not have expected a sudden stop, the presumption of negligence comes into question.  Attorneys call this the “sudden stop” defense.

However, for all automobile crashes other than rear end collisions, the general definitions above are applicable.  In some instances, a driver’s negligence is obvious, such as a vehicle running a red light where a red light camera captures the event on video.  In other instances, there are eye witnesses who attest to the actions of the drivers, and again the negligence becomes apparent.  However, in some crashes, due to conflicting accounts by drivers and witnesses, an accident reconstruction expert is required to analyze all details of the crash, including the speed of all involved vehicles, the physical damage to the vehicles, physical evidence on the roadway, and statements from any drivers or witnesses.  By analyzing all these factors, an accident reconstruction expert can piece together the events and determine which person or people were negligent.

The determination of negligence does not begin and end with identifying a negligent party.  Under Florida Law, the doctrine of comparative negligence is the legal standard.  Comparative negligence is the determination of how negligent a person or multiple people acted in the course of a crash.  For instance, in our rear end collision example, the rear driver is presumed to be 100% negligent.  But what happens in a situation where a driver passes through a red light, but the other driver recognizes this and has an opportunity to take evasive action and either avoid the crash all together or lessen the impact through defensive actions?  A jury considering that type of scenario would be required to determine if both drivers shared responsibility, and if so the jury would be required to apportion a specific percentage of negligence to each party.  In this example, a jury may find the driver who passed through the red light to be 90% negligent and they may simultaneously find the driver with the right of way to be 10% negligent for failing to take reasonable actions to either avoid the crash all together or lessen the impact.  This analysis would use the portion of the negligence definition above that discusses negligence in terms of failing to act in a reasonable manner.

In some states other than Florida, states apply the doctrine of contributory negligence instead of comparative negligence.  In a contributory negligence jurisdiction, if any party is 1% negligent, that party cannot maintain a lawsuit against any other negligent parties.  As you can imagine, following this doctrine can lead to highly unfair results.  That is why states like Florida have steered away from contributory negligence and instead followed comparative negligence, so that any involved driver will be responsible only for the injurie or damages caused by his or her proportional negligence.

Some driving actions rise to a higher level than ordinary negligence, such as when a driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs while operating his or her vehicle, and in the course of operating the vehicle under the influence she causes a crash.  Or when a driver is racing with another vehicle and in the course of this activity, he causes a crash.   Both of these driver actions are decisions the drivers made, and they involve what we call reckless conduct, which is level above negligence.  These actions subject such drivers to criminal prosecution in addition to their liability in civil actions for negligence.  The effect of these types of drivers’ actions can be extremely inflammatory to juries in civil cases, and for that reason, many attorneys representing drivers who are accused of reckless activities will concede their clients were negligent so that a jury will not hear the specific circumstances of how they caused the crash.  Another avenue for trial attorneys is to petition the court to find the driver was negligent as a matter of law based on the fact the person was impaired or participating in dangerous conduct such as racing.

Finally, automobile negligence can manifest itself in the negligent maintenance of a vehicle.  By driving a vehicle on public roads without being reasonably certain the vehicle is mechanically safe, if there is a system failure due to lack of maintenance, and that failure causes a crash, the vehicle owner may be found negligent.  The most common example is operating a vehicle with dangerously low tire tread.  By operating a vehicle with unacceptable tire tread on public roadways, the operator and owner of the vehicle are putting the public at risk should the tire fail on a highway or city street.   This is another example of failing to do something a reasonably careful person would do under like circumstances.  For these reasons, it is critical to regularly service your vehicle including the brakes, tires, seatbelts, and all other vehicle systems that can affect the safety of the vehicle on the public roads.

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At Trial Pro, our traffic collision attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis. That means we cover the costs of investigating, constructing, negotiating and litigating your lawsuit. We do not bill you anything unless we recover compensation on your behalf. If we do not win your case, you will owe us nothing.

Our Orlando injury attorneys also offer potential clients no cost evaluations to discuss the details of their claim and determine if you have a suit. Schedule a Free Consultation

If you or somebody else you love has been impaired due to someone else's negligence or neglectfulness, you need a renowned attorney by your side who is familiar with the statutes and regulations in Florida.

Our Orlando injury attorneys are experts in personal injury lawsuits and have been acknowledged by our peers for our success. Several of our lawyers have been mentioned as Super Lawyers and distinguished litigators for their success on behalf of our clients.

We have recovered favorable judgments and settlements that contributed in assisting personal injury victims recoup from their injuries, pain and suffering and medical bills, or the loss of a loved one. Let us help you recover the max amount of compensation you are entitled to for your personal injuries.

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With more than a century of collective legal experience and a commitment to hard work, excellence, and integrity, we have recovered millions of dollars in damages on behalf of our clients. Our goal is to enable our clients to sit back and focus on their recovery, knowing that the team at Trial Pro, P.A. has the experience and resources to effectively handle all of the legal details involved in their case.

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Our goal is to make the process as easy as possible for you. You don't even have to come into our office if you are unable to travel or adjust your schedule to make it to us. We're more than happy to come to you!

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FL Drivers Involved in Accidents in 2017

Annually millions of americans are injured, in many instances fatally, in car accidents. In 2011 only, more than 2.2 million people were hurt in the estimated 5,338,000 police-reported car accidents and 32,367 killed in traffic accidents involving automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, pedestrians, and bicycles.

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Each Trial Pro attorney and staff member is determined to see your case as far along as necessary to get you every cent that you deserve. Our friendly staff is always accessible to meet or speak with you 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. If you or a loved one has been injured, please call Trial Pro immediately to speak with one of our Florida attorneys today. Remember, don't just hire any attorney, hire a Trial Pro!

Piercy Stakelum Personal Injury Attorney

Piercy Stakelum

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Piercy Stakelum, originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, is the senior attorney at Trial Pro., P.A. Mr. Stakelum carries a zealous nature and his motor is fighting for those who have been compromised. Ask him what his heart yearns for and he’ll summarize it in one word: justice.

Andy Rariden Personal Injury Attorney

Andy Rariden

Senior Attorney

Andy Rariden is a leading civil trial lawyer that adds to the collective legal expertise at Trial Pro, P.A. Although he is originally from Charleston, S.C., Mr. Rariden was raised in Florida. He carries over 20 years of civil trial experience and is committed to defending each of his clients.

Brian Davis Personal Injury Attorney

Brian Davis

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Mr. Davis has built up over two decades of extensive experience trying and disputing cases for clients. Over time, the proficient lawyer has handled a wide range of cases, obtaining successes in lawsuits involving car accidents, medical malpractice, and more.

Don Williams Personal Injury Attorney

Don Williams

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A native of Orlando, Don Williams has provided commitment and dedicated legal representation to clients throughout the area. The proficient attorney has a keen heart for helping others which is one among many attributes that distinguish him as a leader.

Tyler Nicoll Personal Injury Attorney

Tyler Nicoll

Senior Attorney

Born in Ohio, Tyler Nicoll is a dedicated personal injury attorney and an integral part of the Trial Pro, P.A. team. Mr. Nicoll was raised in Coral Springs, Florida. Mr. Nicoll's primary areas of practice include personal injury accidents, overtime disputes and other related matters.

Mike Davis Personal Injury Attorney

Mike Davis

Senior Attorney

Mike Davis holds over twenty years of professional legal experience under his belt and he is always ready to utilize it in favor of his clients. He is an established professional in the industry, uniquely qualified to provide legal counsel to individuals who have been compromised.

Steve Johnson Personal Injury Attorney

Steve Johnson

Senior Attorney

At the beginning of Steve Johnson's legal career, he advocated for clients such as General Motors and Ford Company. As time went by, the attorney realized he held a special interest for insurance disputes and decided to join the team of Trial Pro law professionals.

Marc Williams Personal Injury Attorney

Marc Williams

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Marc Williams is an invaluable member of Trial Pro. P.A., dedicated to handling first party insurance claims arising out of Southwest Florida. He has been recognized as a professional in the field, becoming a recipient of the Florida Academy of Trial Lawyers Bronze Eagle Award.

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Based in Florida, Trial Pro, P.A. represents clients across Florida from our offices in Miami, Orlando, Ft. Myers, Naples, Delray Beach, Jacksonville, and Daytona Beach. We are dedicated to fully serving you at every degree. Our vow is to make the entire process of working with us as easy and as stress-free as possible. Therefore, we are more than happy to meet with you at your home, place of employment, hospital room, or any other place that you find more convenient. You are always welcome to come into our office as well.

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The Trial Pro, P.A. attorneys carry more than a century of collective legal experience and decades of working together as a team. We have represented hundreds if not thousands of people who have been injured as a result of car accidents, slip-and-fall, workers comp’ cases and more. One thing that is clear to us is the essence of partnership. Without it, Trial Pro, P.A. could not be as effective in attaining success for our clients.

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After experiencing an automobile accident, the last thing you desire is to have an attorney at hand that doesn’t know how to adequately represent you. You want a reputable law firm that will fearlessly fight to acquire optimal compensation on your behalf. This is exactly what Trial Pro, P.A. does. Our lawyers hold a strong reputation for winning cases, and we do everything in our hands to deliver the results you’re expecting.

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Our team at Trial Pro, P.A. doesn’t just glance over your case and throws it to the side. We don’t see you as just another number. In order to obtain victory on your behalf, our personal injury attorneys take a closer look at the details. We believe that quality legal representation is tied to full commitment – not a job that’s done halfway. When you choose Trial Pro, P.A., we prove that mediocrity isn’t in our DNA.

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Our team at Trial Pro, P.A. doesn’t just glance over your case and throws it to the side. We don’t see you as just another number. In order to obtain victory on your behalf, our personal injury attorneys take a closer look at the details. We believe that quality legal representation is tied to full commitment – not a job that’s done halfway. When you choose Trial Pro, P.A., we prove that mediocrity isn’t in our DNA.

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At Trial Pro, P.A. We're expert Personal Injury Attorneys. Our trial lawyers in Fort Myers specialize in all types of personal injury claims. Trial Pro, P.A. was founded in 2001 and has grown to include five class A offices across Florida staffed with expert personal injury lawyers and support teams. Trial Pro and its expert Personal Injury Attorneys have been selected to Best Law Firms in America, Lawyers of Distinction, America's Top One Percent, Top 100 U.S. Law Firms, The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers, The Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and received many more distinctions and awards.

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At Trial Pro, we don't sit back, cross our fingers, and hope for our case to settle. Our Personal Injury Attorneys in Naples aggressively bring the fight to the insurance company. We'll leave no stone unturned in our effort to maximize the value of your case because we know that the only number that matters to you is the amount of money that you get in your pocket at the end. We fight for your harms, losses, pain, suffering, inability to enjoy life, disability, inconvenience, lost earnings, mental anguish, scarring, medical bills, and so much more. We understand how your injuries affect you and your family. We'll work hard for a fast recovery for you. But getting you the right money is much more important that just getting you fast money.

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While Trial Pro has the resources to fight the biggest companies, we're not a law factory and you're not "just another number." Our expert Personal Injury Attorneys in Tampa are much more than experienced, aggressive personal injury specialists. We're advocates for our clients in Tampa. We care deeply about you and your recovery, which is why the majority of our clients are referred to us by former clients, doctors, and other attorneys.

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What Our Clients Say About Our Personal Injury Attorneys

Former Trial Pro, P.A. clients constantly testify of how happy they were when we resolved their case. This is our main priority – to go above and beyond their expectations. Yes, we measure our success by the number of court victories we’ve attained. However, we also measure effectiveness by our clients’ satisfaction and experience with Trial Pro, P.A. Most of them come from other firms feeling ignored and rejected. When they transfer over to us, we work hard to radically change their situation and win their litigation case.
If you are in one of these former clients’ shoes and find yourself strongly dissatisfied with your current car accident attorney or firm, we want to represent you!
Our injury attorneys are always happy to answer any questions you may have and inform you about the experience we provide.

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I would definitely come back to Trial Pro, because I can't even tell you the great experience I had. The comfort and the sense of the putting me at peace is priceless.

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I never really felt uneducated, or out of the loop which was key for me because I wanted to know it was going the right way, and it was.

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When we switched over to Trial Pro, I felt as if my voice was heard. I felt as if the person who was taking care of my case really understood me, and understood my needs.

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The Trial Pro, P.A. reputable attorneys genuinely care about their clients. They don’t see them as just another number or face. Neither are they more interested in money than obtaining quality results. Our attorneys are honest, compassionate and work hard to go above and beyond expectations.

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I was hesitant to bring my case to an attorney. Trial Pro, P.A. showed me nothing but integrity and professionalism.

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Trial Pro, P.A. guided me carefully through my case and constantly kept me informed. I was astounded by the attorneys’ aggressive way of fighting.

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I’ve partnered with this reputable law firm for legal representation two times and both instances were victorious. Trial Pro P.A’s chief attorney, Piercy Stakelum, always took the time to sit with me and provide undivided attention.

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All of the attorneys were truly attentive to my needs and the representation they provided surpassed my expectations. It was top-notch.

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At no point I felt nervous for no reason my attorney was there all the time to suppoert me. Thank You Trial Pro, P.A.

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The transition was beautiful! I didn't have to do anything just sign and Trial Pro took care of everything for me.

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Our main priority is our clients’ healing and recovery process. While you focus on getting better, we focus on achieving quality results and obtaining victory for your car or truck accident lawsuit. Our attorneys carry over 100+ years of collective legal experience and have represented thousands of clients. We’ve also acquired millions of dollars in compensation on their behalf.

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Florida Personal Injury Lawyers with Best Results

A car accident can be scary and frustrating. When you experience a personal injury accident, the last thing you need on your plate is a law firm that can’t rightfully represent you. If your attorney’s firm is too small and consequently, it is getting pushed around, it’s time to reconsider your choice of legal representation. On the other hand, you do not want to have a fully loaded firm that is too busy to give you a call. The trial attorney’s at Trial Pro, P.A. carry credibility and reputation. We don’t ignore our clients or skip phone calls. Neither are we controlled by insurance companies.
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When you need expert legal counsel for your case, turn to the firm that has more than a century of collective legal experience and insight. At Trial Pro, P.A., we have put that experience to good use, advocating for thousands of clients over the years. In that time, our team has obtained millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements. As seasoned Florida personal injury lawyers and wage and hour attorneys, we know how to handle a comprehensive range of legal matters.

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Ever since 2001, the practice has held an exceedingly significant track record of successes. Every year, our reputable law firm is awarded for its impressive mark in the legal field. Trial Pro, P.A. has been recognized by Lawyers of Distinction, Florida Justice Association, Better Business Bureau (BBB) and more. Chief attorney Piercy Stakelum is a proud member of The National Trial Lawyers Top 100, an invitation-only organization compromised of highly regarded and credible lawyers. Trial Pro, P.A. has also been acknowledged by Super Lawyers. They recognize outstanding lawyers who have acquired exceptional professional achievement.

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ATTORNEYS PROUDLY SERVING THE INJURED AND THEIR FAMILIES

Trial Pro, P.A. is a proud advocate for personal injury clients throughout the State of Florida. The DNA and foundation of our law firm is passion. While we are passionate about the law, we are even more zealous about fighting for those who have been hurt due to the negligence of others. Our trial attorneys fully embrace authenticity and integrity. With over 100+ years of collective legal experience, our reputable law firm has become a trusted choice for injured individuals. Trial Pro, P.A. has a remarkable reputation for winning. After experiencing a car accident, the last thing you desire is to have an attorney that doesn't know how to adequately represent you. You want a trustworthy and reliable law firm that will walk you through every step of your case. You want a group of attorneys that will pursue justice on your behalf and acquire the maximum compensation. At Trial Pro, P.A., we don't see you as just another case number on our list. We don't turn our backs on you half-way throughout the process. Our former clients can testify that they've truly experienced the Trial Pro, P.A. difference. Quite frankly, most of them have pursued our representation because of others that have recommended us. There are a handful of characteristics that distinguish us from other lawyers but our credibility is the best one amongst all.

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We put into action our knowledge and legal abilities to assist you, not only to attain a positive outcome, but ease the legal stress from your shoulders simultaneously. Trial Pro, P.A. holds a reputation for achieving real success for clients. Leave it to us to fight wisely but aggressively.

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Expering a car accident can be frustrating and scary but our promises to you are fully authentic. Trial Pro, P.A.'s personal injury legal attorneys do not under-deliver. Instead, we do everything in our capabilities to go above and beyond your expectations.

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You shouldn't have to beg for a call back from your attorney. You shouldn't have to beg for an update on your case. At Trial Pro, P.A., we don't operate in that manner. We constantly call our clients to give them updates on their claim. If we miss a call, we promise to always return it.

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Our objective is to enable our clients to relax and concentrate on healing, recognizing that the legal professionals at Trial Pro, P.A. holds the knowledge and resources to adequately tackle all the legal and financial specifics associated with their dispute.