In Florida, there are approximately 400,000 auto accidents every year. This translates to nearly 1,100 accidents every single day. While the vast majority of these accidents are due to driver negligence (such as speeding, running red lights, and texting behind the wheel), various other non-driver-related factors can potentially cause and contribute to auto accidents as well.
As a result, when seeking financial compensation for an auto accident in Florida, it is important not to assume that the other driver is the only one responsible. If you do, you could end up leaving a significant amount of money on the table.
Recovering Just Compensation After an Auto Accident in Florida
So, if the driver who hit you isn’t at fault, then who is?
1. A Vehicle or Component Manufacturer
Vehicle defects can cause accidents and they can expose drivers and passengers to severe injuries in the event of a crash. From faulty brakes to airbags that do not property deploy, various types of defective vehicle components can cause severe and unexpected accidents and injuries.
2. A Dealership or Maintenance Shop
Even if a vehicle component is not defective, it can still be dangerous if it is not properly installed, serviced and maintained. Mistakes by dealership service departments and maintenance shops are to blame for a significant number of auto accidents each year.
3. A Road Construction or Maintenance Contractor
Just as an issue with a vehicle can cause an accident, an issue with the road can cause an accident as well. From use of defective surface materials to failure to fix potholes and low shoulders, there are various road-related issues that can put drivers and passengers in harm’s way.
4. A State or Local Road Authority
In some cases, state and local road authorities can be held responsible for auto accidents resulting from road defects and maintenance issues as well.
5.The Driver’s Employer
If the driver who hit you was working at the time of the accident, then his or her employer may be liable for your injuries. This could be the case under the law of vicarious liability (which makes employers responsible for their employees’ mistakes) or as a result of direct negligence on the part of the employer (such as hiring an unlicensed driver or forcing a driver to spend too many hours behind the wheel).
Comparative Fault in Florida Auto Accident Claims
In many cases, multiple factors will come together to cause an accident. For example, a speeding driver may be unable to stop in time due to a brake failure, or a texting driver may be too distracted to notice a pothole in the road. In these types of cases, multiple parties can share liability for accident-related injuries, and it will be especially important to hire an experienced attorney to help you effectively assert your legal rights.
Contact Powell, Powell & Powell, P.A.
Powell, Powell & Powell, P.A. is a Florida personal injury law firm with multiple office locations in Fort Walton and throughout the Florida Panhandle. If you have been seriously injured in a car accident and would like to speak with an attorney, you can call 850-682-2757 or contact the firm online for a free initial consultation.