Naples is the jewel of paradise coast, situated in Collier County, Florida on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Some 20,000 people call Naples home, though some only nestle here in the winter months (affectionally called “snowbirds” by the locals).
However, if that conjures images of a quaint little seaside town, Naples population is misleading as hundreds of thousands call the area home for at least part of the year.
Although Naples is one of the wealthiest cities in the country, it has invested substantially in traffic safety infrastructure to accommodate residents, as well as more than 2 million visitors who flock here each year. Still, Naples has its fair share of car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents – even city bus and trolley accidents. Our roads are not immune from the many dangers of traffic collisions. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports the average number of crashes in Collier County is 2,820 per year – with 26 of those being fatal and 1,800 causing injury.
It’s such a serious problem that the City of Naples not long ago installed new traffic signal controllers at 20 intersections along U.S. 41 intended to discourage speeding and, in turn, reduce the number and severity of Naples crashes.
A Naples car accident can have a lasting impact on your life, including your ability to work, maintain relationships, care for yourself and stay afloat financially. When someone else is fully or partially responsible for the crash that resulted in your injuries, discuss your legal options with an experienced Naples injury attorney because it’s likely you may be able to recover compensation for your damages.
Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, has been successful in securing favorable Naples car accident claims verdicts and settlements for nearly 50 years. Our investigations are swift, meticulous and thorough, often employing the top expert witnesses in fields like accident reconstruction and medical care. We work to identify all possible defendants and causes of action and work hard to lay the foundation for a solid case against any whose negligent act or omission resulted in the crash that caused you injuries.Naples Car Accidents and Liability
Whether you’re a Southwest Florida native like most of our Naples car accident lawyers or a visitor from out-of-state or overseas, you have the right to a legal advocate who will fight for you, while disputing auto insurers’ attempts to low-ball or deny claims.
The City of Naples Police Department (via the Florida Uniform Traffic Citation Statistics) reports there are thousands of citations issued each year for dangerous traffic offenses. The most frequently-issued include:
- Failure to stop at a stop sign
- Failure to stop at a red light
- Improper lane changes
- Improper backing
- Careless driving
- Driving with a suspended license or without proper insurance
Something that comes as a surprise to many folks is that issuance of a police officer’s traffic citation isn’t the last word on fault. An insurer will use that report as “evidence,” but they can always make their own determination. Then, if there is a dispute as to the insurer’s findings and you file a lawsuit, determination of fault will be in the hands of the judge or jury.
Because of the state’s comparative negligence statute, F.S. 768.81, the fact that you – the claimant – might be partially to blame won’t stop you from filing a claim for damages against others. However, it could proportionately reduce your damage award, depending on how much you were at-fault. That said, you should never under any circumstance admit any amount of fault to the other driver or any insurer without first talking to an injury attorney.
Some common types of car accidents in Naples are:
- Rear-end collisions. A rear-end collision occurs when a vehicle crashes into the vehicle in front of it. This happens more frequently these days since driver distraction (and smart phones in particular) have become so ubiquitous. It can also happen when another driver is tailgating (following too closely). Sometimes irregular conditions on the road, such as a heavy afternoon sheet of rain, can play a role, but it’s important that drivers only go as fast as conditions allow, regardless of the posted speed (F.S. 316.183). In Florida, there is a rebuttable presumption that the driver in the rear of a vehicle is at fault.
- Side impact collisions. These are sometimes referred to as “t-bone collisions” or “broadside collisions,” and refer to crashes wherein the side of one or more vehicles is impacted. Our Naples injury lawyers see these types of car accidents frequently at intersections or in parking lots, as well as when two vehicles are passing on the roadway. Side impact collisions account for roughly a quarter of all passenger vehicle occupant wrongful deaths.
- Single-vehicle accidents. This type of accident occurs when there is just one vehicle, often in the form of run-off-road collisions, collisions with fallen debris, rollovers and collisions with animals. Most of the time, the driver can collect personal injury protection (PIP) coverage (F.S. 627.736) because of Florida’s status as a no-fault auto insurance state. PIP provides up to $10,000 in coverage for a percentage of medical bills and lost wages. A vehicle defect can sometimes cause single-vehicle accidents, so that shouldn’t be ignored. Passengers in single-vehicle crashes can collect damages from both their own PIP coverage (if they have it) or driver’s, as well as driver’s bodily injury liability coverage – if they can prove the driver was negligent (which is usually straightforward in a single-vehicle crash).
Our injury lawyers generally advise anyone to speak to a knowledgeable car accident attorney in the Naples area before accepting any insurance company offer. Failure to do so could lead to a lost opportunity to collect any damages to which you might have otherwise been entitled in the future. While it’s true many of these cases settle well in advance of trial (sometimes without necessitating any lawsuit at all), our dedicated legal team includes civil trial attorneys who will not back down when it comes to our clients’ best interests.
If you or someone you care about has been hurt, contact the Naples car accident lawyers at Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured. You pay us no fees unless we win.