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Car Accidents That Almost Always Require the Assistance of a Lawyer

05/7/2020
Car Accidents
BY

Whether you’re in a minor fender bender or you have serious injuries, consulting with a Florida car accident lawyer is typically a good idea. Even if you don’t pursue the assistance of an attorney, a consultation could help you understand your options.

Some accidents, however, have extra laws or liability rules that are tricky to navigate on your own. Because of this, we’ve outline the Florida car accident claims that are best resolved with the help of an experienced accident law firm.  

Florida Rental Car Accidents

In Florida, injury claims in rental car accidents are actually governed by the federal Graves Amendment, which provides rental car companies with a liability shield against claims borne out of injuries that are caused by the driver’s negligence. For example, if you slam into a tree due to oversteering on a sharp turn, then you cannot bring an action against the rental car company for damages.

Importantly, however, the federal Graves Amendment does not prevent you from securing damages in scenarios where the rental car company independently contributed to your injuries.  Rental car companies owe a duty of reasonable care, which means they must ensure that the vehicle is in working order and is reasonably safe for its intended purposes.  Failure to do so could expose the rental car company to liability. For example, if you are injured in a rental car accident, and you find that the accident occurred due to airbag failure from inadequate maintenance conducted by the rental company, then – with the help of a Florida car accident lawyer – you could bring an action against the rental company for damages.

School Zone Accidents

School zone accidents are particularly dangerous, given that most pedestrians (and reasonable drivers) in school zones do not expect to encounter drivers who operate their vehicles recklessly, such as by speeding.

School zone accident liability is interesting in that — if the defendant-driver violated a traffic law pertaining to the school zone — then that violation can serve as supportive evidence of their negligence. For example, if you can prove that the defendant-driver was driving in excess of 20 miles per hour (i.e., the speed limit in most Florida school zones), then you will have a much easier time of proving their negligence, and therefore their liability.

In some cases, the school district or even the city may be held liable if they fail to protect students, drivers, and others from dangerous conditions, such as road hazards.  If a school district implements an unsafe crosswalk with poor visibility from either side, then that may be a dangerous condition of property that could expose pedestrians (and motorists) to an unreasonable risk of injury. If you’re injured in such a crosswalk, you might have a claim against the property owner in Florida.

Company Vehicle Accidents

If you are injured in a car accident (or truck accident) with a company vehicle, then you may be entitled under Florida law to impose the defendant-driver’s liability on the employer pursuant to the doctrine of vicarious liability.

How does this work?

Suppose that you are injured in a car accident where the defendant-driver was negligent in causing the accident. You investigate the facts further and discover that the driver was delivering food for their employer as part of their job (using a company vehicle). Given the circumstances, you could ostensibly sue and recover damages from the employer for the negligence of their employee.

In Florida, vicarious liability requires that you prove that the employee was acting in furtherance of a legitimate business purpose (i.e., for the company’s benefit, perhaps as part of their normal job duties) and within the course and scope of their employment. If the employee is using a company vehicle at the time of the accident, then it’s easier for a Florida car accident law firm to prove that they were acting within the course and scope of their employment.

The Need for a Florida Car Accident Law Firm in Third Party Lawsuits

Our legal team considers your full range of possibilities for recovering damages. Often, in addition to the driver, other parties may be at fault. For example, another driver may also have contributed to the accident by cutting off the uninsured driver. A construction company may have left debris on the roadway that caused the uninsured driver to swerve or punctured the driver’s tire.

In limited circumstances, a liquor store or bar may also be responsible for an uninsured drunk driver who ran into you. This sort of out-of-the box thinking has helped us recover compensation for injured drivers who might otherwise have few options.

Contact Searcy Denney Today to See if Your Auto Accident Claim Requires the Help of a Law Firm

At our firm, consultations are always free. We’re here to help anyone who is involved with a car accident, so give us a call today and learn how we can help. 

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