The high rate of car accidents occurring along I-95 makes it one of the most dangerous — and often deadly — stretches of road in Miami. Fast highway speeds, speeding drivers, and plenty of people not paying attention all contribute to this danger.
There is also some question as to whether the design of I-95’s stretch that passes through Miami is dangerous in and of itself. A number of lawsuits have been filed concerning the safety, design, and maintenance of the segment of I-95 that passes through Miami. Many injury victims are especially concerned about the express lanes.
If you have been hurt in a serious accident on I-95, know that you have the right to seek a car accident lawyer in Miami who can represent your case. Your attorney will keep you informed of your options, negotiate with insurers on your behalf, and can potentially file a lawsuit against any negligent parties who contributed to your accident’s circumstances.
Florida’s statute of limitations on civil action for injuries requires you to take action fast, or it could be too late. Accepting payment from insurers also prevents you from taking further legal action in most instances. Accordingly, you may want to talk to a Miami car accident attorney soon, before you come to any sort of agreement with insurers.
Call the law offices of Michael Steinger, Sean Greene & Michael Feiner at 800-560-5059 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced I-95 accident attorneys today. One quick call could make a big difference.
I-95 Car Accident Statistics for Miami
Several studies have objectively determined that I-95 is Miami’s deadliest highway.
Statistics from Florida’s own Department of Transportation (FDOT) show that in 2015 (the most recent year for which data was available) 2,460 total crashes occurred on I-95 between SR 112 and the Golden Glades Interchange. Seven of these accidents led to fatalities, and 819 led to serious injuries.
Analyzing this stretch’s crate rate, FDOT found that it had 3 crashes for every million vehicle miles traveled. Accidents in the express lane made up nearly a quarter of all crashes.
Data analyzed by The New Tropic and WLRN, 91.3 FM found that total crashes peaked during morning and afternoon rush hours. A greater number of accidents happened in northbound I-95 lanes from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., whereas southbound lanes see a spike in accidents in the morning from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Accidents causing victims to lost consciousness were split fairly evenly between northbound and southbound I-95 lanes throughout the day. However, fatal accidents were extremely common around 3 a.m. — the time when the bars let out, leading to a high volume of rideshare rides and drunk drivers.
Numbers alone don’t tell the full story of the horrors seen during Miami’s I-95 crashes. In 2015 a driver in a pickup truck went the wrong way down I-95’s northbound lanes. The accident occurred in north Miami-Dade near the Miami Gardens Drive exit. The wrong-way driver struck a sedan, killing her and all four people in the sedan. Five vehicles ended up tangled in the collision.
The Dangers of the Express Lane on Interstate 95 in Miami
Many accidents on I-95 in Miami involve the Express Lanes. These lanes allow drivers to travel at a faster pace through traffic, provided they pay the tolls to access the special lanes.
Plastic rods divide the express lane from the rest of traffic. Vehicles are supposed to enter and exit only at designated points. However, many vehicles instead perform dangerous maneuvers to dart through the barriers to access the lanes and, in theory, skirt past traffic. Drivers in the lanes may also unexpectedly zip out of them and across multiple lanes of I-95 traffic in order to reach an exit in the rightmost lane. Some refer to the act of unsafely navigating through these plastic delineators as “lane diving.”
Many engineering and design experts contend that the design, maintenance, and implementation of the express lanes are naturally dangerous. Data would seem to back this observation up, considering that the I-95 Express Toll in Little River, Miami is Florida’s deadliest road, with over 7 fatalities per highway mile per year.
One Florida police officer, Master Trooper William Smith, even told WLRN that the addition of the express lanes, “does add a new element because now you have four lanes that are stopped and then you have two lanes that are moving.” He adds that the design itself inspires dangerous maneuvers. “Of course somebody’s going to go: I’m in a hurry, I got to go where I got to go. And they cut through.”
Master Trooper Smith also indicated that officers patrolling the highway, “don’t like I-95, they don’t like stopping people on 95 because it’s very fast and there’s nowhere to stop people,” concluding that the phenomenon has made enforcement go down on the deadly stretch of highway.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim for an I-95 Car Accident
Florida no-fault insurance law requires you to file for any accident damages under your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance policy under most circumstances. Injury victims can only file a liability claim against any at-fault drivers if the accident led to a “serious injury.”
Florida law defines a serious injury as on that causes:
- A bone fracture
- Significant disfigurement
- Permanent limited use of an appendage, organ, or member
- Significant temporary limited use of a body function or system
- Substantially full disability for at least 90 days
Often, injury victims settle with their PIP insurance carrier before they realize that they have more-significant injuries than they originally thought.
Working with a Miami personal injury attorney can potentially reveal legal options available for pursuing the full extent of your damages, including:
- Hospital bills, past and future
- Lost wages
- Vehicle repairs
- Pain and suffering
Florida follows a “pure comparative negligence” system, meaning liability for damages will be divided according to each party’s portion of fault. This includes the accident victim’s own contributions to the accident, which can potentially reduce their final settlement or award.
How a Miami Car Accident Attorney Can Help You
Speaking with an experienced Miami car accident lawyer can reveal your legal options and shine a way forward for you to get the maximum amount of compensation available to pay for the costs of your injury.
No-fault insurance policies leave you with most of the bills, and they only cover up to their limit. A car accident attorney in Miami can help you discover other sources of compensation, which can be especially important if you have a serious injury.
Spinal cord fractures, traumatic brain injuries, compound fractures, and internal injuries can all lead to lengthy hospital stays, significant bills, and lost wages. Those who are hurt, therefore, have a strong motivation to explore their legal options and identify all potentially at-fault parties.
Your personal injury attorney will reveal any such legal options, back up your case with evidence, and negotiate on your behalf. In the event that you cannot come to a reasonable settlement, your case could advance to a lawsuit and even trial litigation — anything it takes to seek the compensation you need to recover.
Florida’s statute of limitations laws severely limit injury claims filed past four years from the accident date, and accepting an insurance offer too early can make it impossible to seek more compensation. Talk to a lawyer soon, and preferably before you talk to any insurers.
Anyone who was hurt on I-95 in Miami or who has a close family member who was hurt can schedule their free consultation with our car accident lawyers when they call 800-560-5059 or contact us online.