Line of Sight Accidents
In most cases, drivers are responsible for a car crash because they engaged in some form of careless behavior. In general, a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit must prove that another driver owed him or her a duty of care, the driver failed to use reasonable care, the careless behavior actually and proximately caused the accident, and the plaintiff incurred damages. However, when an obstruction on a property owner's land blocks a driver's line of sight, that property owner may be partially or fully liable for the resulting accident.
Under premises liability law, property owners have a duty to keep their land in a reasonably safe condition. Although premises liability cases usually involve dangerous conditions within property boundaries, the duty of reasonable care can extend to dangerous conditions that extrude into a road or other public right of way, causing a foreseeable hazard to drivers.
For example, if you come to a blind intersection, and a property owner has placed a huge fruit stand sign that you cannot see past without driving into traffic, and a car crashes into you as a result, the property owner may be partially responsible.
Florida follows the doctrine of comparative negligence. This means that the jury will be asked to assess damages and then assign a percentage of fault to all parties alleged to be responsible. Florida does not follow the doctrine of joint and several liability, which would allow a plaintiff to hold one defendant liable for the total damages even if another defendant contributed to them. Instead, if more than one defendant is at fault for an accident, each defendant is liable to the plaintiff only up to his or her percentage of fault.
This means that if you are in an accident with a driver who claims his line of sight was blocked by a tree, hedge, or illegally parked car, you may need to bring the property owner into the lawsuit. The jury might determine, for example, that the property owner is 80% at fault for an accident and the driver is 20% responsible. If the total damages are $100,000, you might be able to recover $20,000 of this from the driver and the other $80,000 from the property owner.Explore Your Options with an Ocala Attorney after a Car Accident
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle collision or lost a loved one in a fatal accident, the Ocala lawyers at the Dean Law Firm can assist you in pursuing compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. We are experienced at handling both car accident and premises liability cases, and we can determine which parties may be responsible for your damages. Call us at 352-387-8700 or contact us via our online form. We represent injured individuals in Crystal River, The Villages, and throughout Sumter, Lake, Marion, Citrus, and Levy Counties.