Not all accidents on the road happen because of driving errors. A hidden danger in the streets is flying debris from other vehicles. Another driver may not secure the items they’re transporting. A loose object can strike another car and cause serious harm.
When harm occurs because of a road hazard, you have rights, including the right to work with a Tampa car accident attorney to build a claim for compensation. Here’s what you should know about accidents caused by road hazards in Florida.
Accidents Caused by Road Hazards – Statistics
AAA reports that 50,000 accidents occur in the United States each year because of road hazards. 39,000 people suffered injuries between 2011 and 2014 because of road hazards. 500 deaths occurred in the same four-year period because of debris on the roads.
Road Hazard Accidents in Florida
Road hazard accidents are a common problem in the State of Florida. In 2018, a woman narrowly escaped death when a sheet of plywood flew from a truck bed through the windshield of her car. The 35-year-old suffered injuries. Also in 2018, dozens of drivers suffered damage to their vehicles because of construction debris left on State Road 54 in Pasco County.
Florida Road Hazard Laws
Florida law 316.520 requires all drivers to secure the load in their vehicle before traveling. It’s illegal to transport objects in a way that allows them to become a road hazard. The law says that a person may not drive a vehicle unless the load is prevented from dropping, shifting, leaking, blowing, or escaping. It’s the joint obligation of the driver and the owner of the vehicle to ensure that the load is secured.
Penalties for Unsecured Load in Florida
Driving with an unsecured load in the State of Florida is a non-criminal traffic infraction. If the unsecured load causes serious injury or death, it’s a second-degree misdemeanor. Penalties may include jail time, fines, probation, and restitution to the accident victim.
Damages to a Vehicle Caused by Construction Debris in Florida
When a vehicle incurs damage because of construction debris on the road in Florida, the State of Florida may reimburse the vehicle owner for the damages. The state handles each claim on a case-by-case basis. If the debris is left by the police, a highway crew or caused by a pothole, the State of Florida may choose to pay the driver for their losses. To request compensation, you make a claim through the Florida Department of Transportation.
Compensation for an Accident Involving Flying Debris
When you’re hurt because of an accident that involves flying debris, you may have a right to compensation. When the accident occurs in Florida, there are several ways that you may receive compensation. You must take active steps to receive the compensation that you deserve.
In many flying debris cases, you can determine who is responsible for the unsecured load. The police can investigate to discover who is to blame for the debris. You may also conduct your own investigation to find the source of the unsecured load. When you know who is to blame for the unsecured load, you have two options to seek compensation. You may file a lawsuit, or you may seek compensation through the responsible party’s ticket or misdemeanor proceeding.
Lawsuit for Road Hazard Accident
When you have serious injuries because of a road hazard accident, you can go outside Florida’s no-fault compensation system to bring a claim directly against the responsible driver. The fact that the driver operated the vehicle in violation of Florida law 316.520 is strong proof of the driver’s legal liability. You may claim a wide range of compensation, including your medical bills, property damages, and pain and suffering.
Florida Law 316.520 Restitution
In addition to bringing a lawsuit directly against the responsible party, you may also claim restitution if the driver receives a ticket. The court may order the driver to pay you for your financial losses as part of the ticket or misdemeanor charge that they receive because of the accident. It’s important to remember that damages are limited when they are a part of a ticket or criminal proceeding.
In a ticket or misdemeanor proceeding, you can’t claim all of the types of damages that you may win in a civil case. But if the police issue a ticket or charge the driver with a misdemeanor, that doesn’t stop you from bringing a civil case. The ticket and the civil case can run concurrently. A civil case may be necessary to ensure that you get all of the compensation that you deserve for your injuries and other losses following a road debris accident.
How Can Attorney for Florida Road Debris Accidents Help Me?
When you’re hurt because of an accident that involves road debris, an attorney can help you with every step. They can help direct you to the right medical care and property damage assessments. If the responsible driver isn’t already identified, they can do an investigation on your behalf to find the responsible party. Your attorney can file a claim on your behalf and pursue it until you have fair compensation for your damages and losses. Along the way, they help you understand what to expect from the legal system and what you need to do to receive justice in your case.
Contact Our Florida Car Accident Lawyers
Have you been in an accident caused by a road hazard? Do you need compensation because of a crash involving an unsecured load? Our Florida attorneys for road hazard accidents can help.
Road hazard accidents are serious. You may deserve significant financial compensation for your injuries. But your recovery is not automatic. Don’t leave anything to chance when you can work with our determined, trained, and professional attorneys. Our attorneys have decades of experience helping accident victims. Getting you top dollar for your claim is our passion. We work efficiently to make the legal process as understandable and manageable as possible.
There’s no cost to speak with our legal team and no cost to you unless you win your case. We want you to get the compensation that you deserve. Let us show you what sets our legal team apart. Call us today to talk about your case.