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Parties in an Accident Claim

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David is awesome! Settled my case quickly and is definitely the right man for the job. Highly recommended.”

Rich H., Client

When you’ve been injured in a car accident and suffered property damage also, your hope is to recover fully and be compensated for the damages that were the result of someone else’s bad choices. But have you ever considered just who that might be? You may be surprised to learn that there may be more parties in your car accident claim than just the other driver.

Understanding who may be liable for your physical and property damages is why you need experienced Florida personal injury attorney David I. Fuchs. He knows all the various parties that could be a resource to pay the compensation you deserve, and he will thoroughly investigate your accident to determine which ones to include in your case.

Potential Parties

Here’s a list of the potential parties that we could seek recovery from on your behalf. The possibility of their involvement is fact specific as to the circumstances of your accident.

1. The Other Driver

The party that is the most obvious for a possible claim is the other driver, of course. They are required to have insurance that can cover medical costs that exceed your responsibility through personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, property damages, and more.

2. Owner of the Car

Under Florida law, if you loan your car to someone who then causes an accident, you can be held liable for the damages. For private individuals (not commercial owners) there are limitations on the liability under the statutes and setoffs for damages paid by other parties, but the owner of the car is another path to recovery.

3. Employer of the Other Driver

In a doctrine called respondeat superior (“let the master answer”), the employer of the other driver could be named in a claim. The law allows for the employer to be “vicariously” liable for the negligence of its employee if the accident occurred when the employee was within the course and scope of his duties. The liability attaches even if the employee was driving a personal vehicle. Some exceptions exist, so it is important that your personal injury attorney gather records and details to determine if an employer might be a party to your claim.

4. Rental Car and Ride-Hailing Companies

Typically, rental car companies are not liable for the accidents of those who rent cars from them. But some exceptions exist under Florida’s Financial Responsibility Law.

Ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft could be a party to your claim as well. A driver for one of these companies might be negligent and cause your accident, or you may have been harmed in a crash while riding in a ride-hailing vehicle. Drivers that work for these companies must have high limits on their own insurance and the companies also carry insurance making them a lucrative source to compensate you.

5. Others Who May Become Parties in a Car Accident Claim

The list doesn’t end with those cited above. There are several other possibilities for parties to your claim. These include:

  • Volunteer organizations – If the driver was participating in a volunteer activity the organization may have an insurance policy to cover accidents.
  • Workers’ Compensation – If you’re hurt in a car wreck in the course and scope of your employment, a workers’ comp claim may be appropriate. Always report any accident you have while working to your employer so that your workers’ comp rights are preserved.
  • Manufactures and Repair Shops – Your personal injury attorney will investigate all the causes of your accident, including whether defective equipment, like brakes or tires, or faulty repair work contributed.
  • Road conditions – Potential parties can also be those responsible for road design and maintenance such as local, state, and federal governments. In addition, private commercial property owners, such as those managing large housing complexes, could find themselves facing a claim if they fail to properly maintain roads and signage.

You Need a Personal Injury Attorney for Your Car Accident Claim

You may be tempted to go it alone when you’ve had an accident. But once you make a claim, the insurance company will put a smooth-talking claims adjuster on the case whose mission is to get you to settle for as little as possible. You may be pressured into making statements against your best interests and to sign forms that you don’t understand. If you have David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. on your side, you can rest easy. Attorney Fuchs will fight for you to receive the compensation you deserve and will pursue all parties that could be liable for your injuries.