Hazards on Florida roadways can create the potential for serious motor vehicle accidents accompanied by equally serious injuries. Road hazards may consist of physical hazards, such as defective road conditions at constructions sites, as well as hazardous drivers. When drivers fail to abide by the Florida Rules of the Road or otherwise fail to drive in a reasonably safe and careful manner, serious accidents and injuries can occur.
If you suspect that a road hazard caused your motor vehicle accident, you should contact an experienced Clearwater personal injury lawyer today. The knowledgeable car accident personal injury lawyers at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA may be able to help you file a claim or lawsuit against the responsible parties and help you recover the monetary compensation you deserve.
Negligent Roadway Drivers
Clearwater drivers owe a duty to all other drivers on the roadway to operate their motor vehicles in a safe, careful, and prudent manner. When drivers fail to obey Florida traffic laws which are on the books, these violations can create a significant hazard to other roadway drivers. Violations may include exceeding the posted speed limit, driving too fast for the weather conditions, and failing to properly give another driver or pedestrian the right of way.
If another driver violates a Florida traffic law or rule of the road, then the driver may be deemed negligent per se. In that instance, the injured accident victim may need only prove damages in a personal injury case.
In a Clearwater motor vehicle accident case, the accident victim may be able to file a legal claim or lawsuit against both the at-fault driver and the owner of the at-fault vehicle (if the driver is not the owner). The owner may be at fault for negligently entrusting the vehicle to the driver – especially in cases where he or she has caused an accident before.
Hazardous and Defective Roadway Conditions
Hazardous and defective roadway conditions may exist not only on roadways but also in parking garages and parking lots – and at construction sites. Hazardous conditions on Florida roadways may include potholes, grooved pavement, uneven pavement, and missing or inadequate signage. Hazardous road conditions may also include physical objects in the roadway that lead to an accident or traffic pile-up.
In a defective roadway condition case, the responsible parties may include construction companies, the owner of the road where the accident occurred, or the city or county. In the case of a city or county, there are often various notice requirements that you must comply with prior to filing a claim or lawsuit. An experienced Clearwater personal injury lawyer can make sure that you comply with any and all of these notice requirements and statutory deadlines in a timely manner.
Drunk or Impaired Motor Vehicle Drivers
Despite the well-known dangers associated with drinking and driving, some Florida drivers continue to operate their motor vehicles while they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drugs and alcohol can seriously alter a person’s mindset, perception, and reaction time. Consequently, drinking and driving never go hand in hand and can create a significant hazard for all other drivers on the roadway at that time.
In addition to civil liability, drunk and impaired drivers may also be subject to heavy criminal fines and penalties. Moreover, if another individual owns the vehicle that the drunk driver was operating, that individual could also be civilly liable for negligently entrusting the vehicle to a drunk driver.
Filing a Claim or Lawsuit for Damages
Florida is currently a no-fault state in terms of its motor vehicle laws. In the State of Florida, every driver is required to maintain a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection – or PIP – coverage. This coverage is in place to satisfy the immediate medical costs and lost wages incurred in a motor vehicle accident – regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
If your medical damages or lost wages exceed this $10,000 threshold, or if you sustained a permanent injury, you may be able to file a claim or lawsuit directly against the at-fault party who caused your accident.
In a personal injury lawsuit that is linked to a car accident, the injured accident victim must be able to show that the defendant failed to act reasonably under the circumstances and that this failure directly led to the accident and all of the damages sustained. Common injuries and damages resulting from road hazard accidents may include cuts and scarring, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and soft tissue injuries.
If a road hazard accident was fatal, the victim’s surviving family members may be able to open an estate and file a wrongful death claim. Damages recovered as part of a wrongful death claim are intended to compensate the surviving family members for the untimely death of their loved one. While no amount of compensation is ever enough, these awards can replace the victim’s lost income and support grieving family members.
Fortunately, the majority of car accidents do not result in the death of a loved one. However, these accidents can lead to serious injuries and damages – some of which may be permanent or lifelong. In those cases, the accident victim may be able to recover compensation for medical care costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and permanent injuries.
Contact a Clearwater, Florida Personal Injury Lawyer Today to Discuss Your Car Crash
Clearwater road hazards can lead to serious car crashes and injuries to the accident victims involved. If you have been injured in a car accident that you believe was caused by a roadway hazard – including a negligent or impaired motor vehicle driver – you should retain legal counsel as soon as possible to represent you in your case.
The Clearwater personal injury lawyers at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA can review the circumstances of your accident and may be able to negotiate or litigate your case through the court system. To schedule a free legal consultation and case evaluation with a Clearwater personal injury lawyer, please call us today at (727) 451-6900, or contact us online.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765