Drivers in Florida trust that the highway designs city planners come up with put safety first. Unfortunately, even the best intentions don’t always result in truly safe streets. Properly designed highways and medians can help prevent accidents and related injuries, while poor designs can increase the risk of driver harm.
After an accident on one of Florida’s highways, talk to a vehicle collision attorney at David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. about your eligibility for financial compensation from the government or another party. Even after a single-vehicle crash, a Fort Lauderdale road defect car accident lawyer could help you prove that dangerous road conditions were to blame.
Types of Dangerous Highway Design Defects
Florida has several major highways and interstates running through it, including I-75, I-275, I-10, I-4, and I-95. In most cases, it is up to the government to design, repair, and maintain state highways. This must be done with due care, smart planning, and a mission to prevent foreseeable traffic hazards. Failure to use proper care in designing a highway can lead to many unnecessary risks, including:
- Unreasonably dangerous medians
- Overgrown plants blocking road signs
- Construction hazards and failure to warn of construction zones
- Lack of guardrail on curves or steep embankments
- Unnecessarily sharp curves or lack of warning
- Series of utility poles or trees too close to the roadway
- Bridge without a sidewalk for safe pedestrian travel
The number of defects a highway’s design can have is limitless. A flaw in the design can be virtually anything that presents an unreasonable risk of harm to drivers and motorcyclists. A risk might be unreasonable if a reasonable and prudent design team would have noticed and avoided the hazard. To prove that a road was defective in a car accident claim, you need an experienced lawyer in Fort Lauderdale like attorney Fuchs.
How an Attorney Can Help
The lawyer you retain after being injured by dangerous road can make an enormous difference in how much you receive for your suffering and property damages. Claims against the government are especially complex, dealing with special rules and filing requirements. You’ll need legal assistance if you want to sue a state or local government entity for dangerous highway design, as these claims aren’t always easy to win. Retaining a good team of attorneys can give you peace of mind, as well as the upper hand in insurance claim negotiations.
To bring a personal injury or wrongful death claim against a government body in Florida, you must prove the government body caused the harm through an act of negligence. One cannot hold a government employee individually liable for a car accident unless the employer intentionally caused the crash. Instead, one must file a claim against the government agency that employs the individual. In the case of highway design defect, the government body liable might be the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).
If FDOT or another government body is responsible for designing a dangerous and defective highway, an injured party could sue for damages up to the $200,000 damage cap against government agencies ($300,000 if multiple government entities are liable). You have three years from the date of your accident to notify the designer of the highway of your intent to sue. To learn more about these complex lawsuits involving dangerous road conditions, get in touch with David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A, here in Fort Lauderdale
What Hazards are Common on Local Roads?
As a knowledgeable attorney can explain, car accidents in Fort Lauderdale are all too often caused by road hazards. Potholes, road debris, construction areas, dangerous intersections, obstructed views, overgrown vegetation, and poor or antiquated design are all common examples of hazardous conditions on the road, which may cause or contribute to a traffic collision.
Veteran lawyer David I. Fuchs understands there are frequently multiple causes or contributing factors in determining fault in the wake of a serious or fatal accident. A thorough investigation must identify and assign fault to negligent parties comprehensively, in order to best protect the rights of accident victims and provide comprehensive means of recovery.
At David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A., we are committed to each and every client we accept the responsibility of representing. By choosing a law firm built on individual relationships, we believe you can best assure your case will be approached with similar diligence.
Statistics about Local Road Dangers
The Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade area is the nation’s eighth-largest metro area and is home to more than 5.6 million residents. Millions of winter residents, tourists, and visitors descend each winter and federal, local and private infrastructure projects continue to struggle to keep up with the pace of expansion.
Sovereign immunity laws across the state often protect government entities from a lawsuit and generally limit recovery to a maximum of $200,000. However, in other cases, a homeowner’s association, construction contractor, or other entity may share the blame. Pursuing a third-party liability lawsuit may be one option to recover damages.
In any case, the facts and circumstances should be well documented following an accident of any significance. Taking photographs, making diagrams, and gathering the names and contact information of any witnesses will help ensure such information is available should a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death lawsuit be filed.
Sharing this information with your legal representation in Fort Lauderdale is equally critical. Regardless of whether it becomes an issue in your plaintiff’s suit, it may be an issue raised in defense by the insurance company or at-fault party.
Cyclists and Pedestrians Face a Heightened Risk
Few places in America are bicyclists and pedestrians more at risk than in the greater Fort Lauderdale area. Transportation for America ranks the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach area the nation’s 4th deadliest metro area when it comes to pedestrian accidents. Florida also frequently leads the nation in the number of cyclists killed.
In fact, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles continues to report an increase in pedestrian and bicyclist deaths. In 2011, the agency reported 120 riders were killed – up 58 percent from the previous year. About 500 pedestrians were killed that year in Florida.
Bicyclist and pedestrian accidents are caused by an alarming array of road hazards, from dooring to sidewalk sales, outdoor cafes, and street festivals. Inoperative or missing street signs or signals may also lead to a serious or fatal collision. Poorly placed bus stops or crosswalks may also be a contributing factor.
Take Your Case to a Fort Lauderdale Road Defect Car Accident Attorney
At David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A., we build cases for the courtroom. By conducting a thorough review of the facts and circumstances surrounding your accident, we will be in the best position to identify all of the parties responsible. By committing to a comprehensive approach on behalf of each client, we are best able to negotiate from strength and force a fair and equitable settlement on your behalf.
Call a Fort Lauderdale road defect car accident attorney today to get started on your case and the process of recovering financial compensation.