Who Can Be Sued in a Car Accident
If you or a loved one is seriously injured in a car accident in Orlando, Winter Park or elsewhere in Central Florida, it will be crucial to identify all parties who can be held legally responsible, or liable, for your losses. You may be surprised to learn that liability may extend beyond the at-fault driver.
Having assisted car accident victims throughout Central Florida since 1989, Frank M. Eidson, P.A., has the background and insight to help you decide who you should pursue a accident claim against after an auto accident. To learn more, contact our Orlando car accident lawyer today and schedule a free review of your case.
The liable parties our firm may identify in your case include:
- The driver of the vehicle that harmed you – Drivers who break the rules of the road or otherwise drive negligently can be held liable for your losses. Negligence is defined as behavior that is more careless than what a reasonable driver would have exhibited. To recover compensation, you must establish that the driver’s negligence directly caused your car crash.
- The at-fault driver’s employer – If the at-fault driver is working when an accident happens, it may be possible to take legal action against the driver’s employer. This is due to a long-standing legal doctrine that allows employers to be held liable for the negligent acts of their employees. In some cases, employers themselves are negligent. For instance, a trucking company may be liable for a crash caused by one of its drivers if the company hired the driver without performing an adequate background check.
- Bars or restaurants that served the at-fault driver – If a bar, restaurant or store furnishes alcohol to a driver under age 21 or one the seller knows to be a habitual drunkard, and that driver in turn causes an accident that harms you or a loved one, that establishment can be held liable under Florida’s “dram shop” laws.
- The “social host” that furnished alcohol to the at-fault driver – Dram shop laws are not restricted to only bars and restaurants. Private individuals who provide alcohol to minors or habitual drunkards who subsequently cause an accident may be held liable as well.
- Car manufacturer – If a vehicle is defective, the car itself can cause an accident. In other cases, such as when air bags don’t deploy, defects don’t cause accidents but they do make injuries worse. If a defect causes or contributes to injuries, the car manufacturer could be held liable. These are referred to as product liability cases. In addition to manufacturers, distributors and retailers of defective automobiles may be held liable.
- Government agency responsible for road design or maintenance – When a collision occurs due to a problem with the road, a government agency may be to blame. This includes accidents on poorly designed roads with low visibility or collisions on roads that became hazardous due to inadequate maintenance. The government enjoys some limited protections from claims under special sovereign immunity rules. So, it is especially important to get experienced legal help in these types of cases.
Florida follows a comparative fault system. This means that your recovery in a car accident case can be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault. For example, if you are found to be 20 percent at fault for an accident that causes you $100,000 in losses, the most you could recover is $80,000.
It is important to work with an attorney who will stand up to insurance companies that try to place an unfounded amount of blame on you for an accident.
Get Help Today From an Orlando Car Accident Lawyer
Orlando car accident lawyer, Frank M. Eidson, P.A., will give your case personalized attention from beginning to end. This means that we explore all options available to you for recovering compensation, and we keep you fully informed throughout the life of your case. Contact us today so we can get started on helping you to seek a just recovery for your losses.