Who Can I Sue in a Car Accident in Florida?
Even if you’re an exceedingly careful driver and follow all traffic regulations, there may be a time when you’re involved in a car mishap because of another person’s reckless driving. Any claims for a car accident in Florida are covered under the No-Fault Insurance System. Unless you have serious injuries that result in loss of earnings capacity along with pain and suffering, you can contact your insurance provider and get a payout. In case of situations where you have a permanent injury and significant or permanent scars and/or disfigurement, you have the right to sue the other driver for damages. Death and permanent loss of any physical function can also earn you damages. Read ahead for an understanding of the parties liable for your car accident in Florida.
- Reckless Driver
The driver responsible for the accident is expected to pay you damages up to the limits in their car insurance policy. Police officers who arrive on the site assess the situation and determine the person at fault. You’ll receive compensation for the out-of-pocket medical bills you incurred, lost wages because of the inability to work, and pain and suffering.
- Owner of the Vehicle
Florida is the only state in the country that holds the vehicle owner liable for a car accident caused by the negligence of the driver. The law is called the Dangerous Instrumentality Doctrine and allows you to claim damages from both the owner and driver of the car. This rule holds true even if an employee has been using the car during non-working hours, and the employer is unaware that the vehicle is being used. The extent of the liability and the amount that the owner and driver will be expected to pay depends on the kind of insurance coverage they have.
- Owner of the Rental Vehicle
If the driver was using a vehicle hired from a rental car company, you can claim damages from the owner of the car. The state holds the rental company responsible for not verifying that the driver has valid licensing before allowing them to use the vehicle. Even if the vehicle was being used by a driver who did not actually hire the car, the rental company is liable to pay damages to the injured party.
- Driver of a Vehicle on the Job
Employers who have assigned a company vehicle to any of their employees for work purposes are asked to pay damages if their employees injure someone when driving that vehicle. The owner who has been named on the vehicle’s registration documents is held responsible.
- Parents of a Minor Driving a Vehicle
In case you’re injured in a car accident that a minor was driving, you can seek injury claims from the parents or guardians. If the parents signed the application for getting a learner’s permit or driver’s license and their child is involved in a car accident in Florida, they are held responsible for the damages caused by negligent driving. As long as they are residents of Florida, you can claim compensation even if the mishap occurred outside the state.
- Other Parties Responsible for the Accident
You can sue any other parties whose carelessness resulted in your injury. These entities include the car manufacturer, maintenance workers who conducted faulty repairs on the car, and contractors entrusted with the task of ensuring that the roads and streets are free of hazards.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Florida, you can seek compensation from the people whose negligence caused you injuries. Check with the expert lawyers at FCALT to advise you best and take the necessary steps.