Interstate Accident Attorneys
Highways like Interstate 75 or Interstate 95 provide an efficient way to travel long distances. Before these highways were built, a trip from Gainesville to Tampa would take all day, and then some. There’s no doubt interstate highways are a vital part of our modern transportation system, both individually and commercially.
Experienced Interstate Accident Attorneys in Gainesville
Between personal travel and commercial semi-rigs, these highways see a high volume of traffic, especially during major holiday weekends or emergencies. The volume of cars traveling at high speeds and big-rig trucks pulling large, heavy loads dramatically increases the risk of devastating accidents.
Gainesville is home to the University of Florida, and it’s also served by I-75, a major north-south highway connecting cities like Tampa, Atlanta, Cincinnati and Detroit. According to the Florida Department of Transportation, approximately 66,500 passenger vehicles and 11,500 semi-trucks use I-75 through Gainesville each day.
Since these highways have limited access points, vehicles can travel at higher speeds uninterrupted. However, when an interstate accident does occur, it tends to be much more severe on an interstate highway due to the combination of high speeds, large semi-rigs and road conditions.
Many of these car accidents are unfortunately fatal. According to The Daily Beast, I-75 in Florida was the 15th deadliest stretch of interstate highway in the entire U.S. for the 2004-2008 summer travel seasons. During this time, 536 fatal accidents occurred along the 471 mile stretch between Miami and the Florida-Georgia line, which equals 1.14 fatal accidents per mile, according to the report.
Other Florida interstates fared worse, with I-95 being ranked the deadliest stretch of interstate highway in the entire country!
Common Types of Interstate Accidents
Like other highways, accidents on the interstate are caused by a variety of factors. However, high speeds coupled with high traffic volume usually means these accidents are much worse in most cases.
Some of the more common situations we see include:
- Rear-end collisions caused by following too closely
- Side collisions caused by improper merging or lane changes
- Multiple vehicle collisions caused by bad visibility and other poor road conditions
- Single vehicle crashes caused by driver fatigue or wild animals
Again, some of the worst accidents we deal with or hear about occur on the interstate. For example, a car being wedged underneath a semi-truck trailer can be especially fatal. Who can forget the fatal 20-vehicle pile-up caused by smoke from a brush fire on Paynes Prairie in January 2012?
Car Accident Attorneys Helping You Prove Fault
If you’ve been affected by an accident on the interstate, proving fault works just like other accidents that occur every day on neighborhood streets, local highways and in parking lots.
Proving fault essentially breaks down into the following three steps:
- Did the other driver(s) have a duty of care?
- Did they breach this duty?
- Did their breach cause an injury or property damage?
Often times, the at-fault driver will be in violation of one of several statutes that apply to drivers on the interstate, including Section 1 of Florida Statutes 316.0895, which states:
“The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon, and the condition of, the highway.”
This same section in Florida law also states that large semi-truck rigs must allow a minimum of 300 feet between their rigs and the vehicles in front of them.
Speeding and drunk driving are two other examples of how an at-fault driver can be in clear violation of the law.
Florida is a comparative fault state, which means a driver can be partially at fault for an accident and still have a claim against the other driver. If it’s determined through a combination of police reports, witness statements and investigation that the other driver is at least 51 percent responsible for the collision, you can qualify to receive compensation for injuries and damages.
When an interstate accident occurs, it’s important that you remain calm and tend to the immediate needs of you, your passengers and anyone else affected by the collision. Take careful notes and obtain contact information for any witnesses if you are able.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Gainesville
The experienced car accident attorneys and support staff at Warner, Sechrest & Butts, P.A., in Gainesville provide compassionate representation to individuals and families injured in an accident on the interstate highway. Our firm has extensive experience establishing fault for auto accidents of all types. Once fault is established, attorneys Marc Warner, Michael Sechrest and their staff can then determine the best route for helping you obtain compensation for injuries, damages and lost wages.
It’s important you speak with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure you file a claim within the prescribed statute of limitations.