Side-impact accidents account for a small percentage of the crashes that occur in Florida each year, but they cause a high number of collision-related deaths and injuries. In many instances, more than one party is responsible for causing a side-impact crash, and proving that an injured person is owed damages can be challenging. If you were injured in a side-impact crash, you should speak to an attorney to determine whether you may have a viable claim against the responsible party. The skillful Boca Raton car accident lawyers at The Grife Law Firm are adept at handling complicated car accident cases, and we possess the skills and resources needed to help you argue for a favorable outcome.Scenarios Leading to Side-Impact Crashes
Side-impact crashes, also known as T-bone or broadside accidents, typically occur because a driver failed to yield the right of way to an oncoming motorist. Refusing to yield directly violates Florida law. Specifically, Florida Statute 316.006 states that drivers who approach a stop sign must stop and yield the right of way to any vehicles that have entered the intersection if they are so close that proceeding presents a hazard. Similarly, the law provides that drivers approaching yield signs must slow down and look for vehicles coming from the opposite direction and, if any cars are advancing, stop until they have passed. Drivers who fail to obey the right of way law may proceed into an intersection without clearance and cause side-impact crashes. Additionally, in some cases, a broadside accident will occur because overgrown brush on the side of the road, sunlight, or some other impediment will block a person’s vision, and the person will drive into an intersection without knowing that another vehicle is too close to avoid a collision.Elements of a Lawsuit Arising out of a Side-Impact Accident
Side-impact accidents can cause significant injuries, including brain trauma, fractures, organ damage, and spinal injuries. People hurt in car crashes can recover damages if they can prove that another party is responsible for their harm. Typically, a plaintiff in a lawsuit arising out of a side-impact accident must prove the defendant’s negligence. In Florida, demonstrating negligence requires proof that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty and breached the duty. The plaintiff must also demonstrate that the accident caused the plaintiff to suffer actual harm, and the defendant’s breach proximately caused the plaintiff’s damages. In other words, the breach must have been a primary factor in bringing about the accident, and the plaintiff must show that the accident would not have occurred if the defendant had not breached the duty owed.
In many cases, proving negligence is straightforward. In cases involving broadside collisions, though, a defendant will often argue that the plaintiff was partially or completely at fault for the accident. If a defendant successfully demonstrates that a plaintiff’s negligence contributed to a crash, it will affect the plaintiff’s recovery of damages. Specifically, Florida Statute 768.81 states that a plaintiff’s contributory fault will proportionately diminish the non-economic and economic damages awarded to the plaintiff in a negligence claim. In other words, a plaintiff’s comparative fault will diminish but not bar the plaintiff’s compensation. Thus, evidence that proves that a defendant should be held wholly or substantially liable is critical in a side-impact accident lawsuit. Evidence that may help prove that the defendant caused the accident includes eyewitness statements, police reports, surveillance footage, and testimony from an accident reconstruction expert.Discuss Your Car Accident Case With a Boca Raton Attorney
Side-impact accidents can cause life-changing injuries and often result in significant financial losses as well. If you were hurt in a side-impact crash, you should meet with an attorney to discuss the damages that you may be able to pursue. The car accident attorneys at The Grife Law Firm take pride in helping injured people fight to protect their interests. We assist people injured in car accidents in lawsuits in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale. You can reach us through our online form or at 855-998-0770 to schedule a consultation.