Our driveways are often a place of safety for us. Children play on them, and it acts as a direct extension of our home and the security it provides. Yet, when we think of the potential dangers of this space on our property, we imagine a vehicle slowly pulling in, giving us ample time to step out of the way.
Unfortunately, this false sense of security can lead to tragedy. Children, pets, and personal property like bicycles, are often struck by cars pulling in to park. This can happen because of an obstructed view from the curb or having multiple vehicles in the driveway. Sometimes, curious youth climb into your unlocked car and manage to shift the auto out of park. When a driveway accident like this occurs at your Orlando home, you may be unsure who is at fault.
Driveway Accidents are not Uncommon in Florida
Backovers are probably the most common and tragic type of accident to happen in anyone’s driveway, especially when a child is involved. Many homeowners pull nose-first into their drives, which means they must back out to exit. Anytime you are reversing out of a parking space, your risk for accident increases because of the many blind spots you have to check as you maneuver. Small children are especially vulnerable because they don’t understand they may not be within the view of your mirrors.
Another frequently occurring driveway accident type is a roll away. This happens when your vehicle literally rolls out of your drive, with or without someone behind the wheel. A poorly maintained parking brake is often the culprit behind these incidents, but sometimes a car is purposely put in motion. Children love to get behind the wheel and blare the horn, but they can sometimes manage to get a vehicle out of gear, creating dangerous roll-away situations.
A saying applies to many of these scenarios, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In Florida personal injury law, those who get hurt in a driveway accident will need to prove negligence on the part of the vehicle’s owner. Did they allow their child to play in the car unsupervised? Did they not take care to ensure no one was in their driveway when they quickly backed out? Countless questions will need to be evaluated by a skilled personal injury attorney when trying to recover damages for your injuries.
Who Is Responsible for a Driveway Accident?
As mentioned earlier, state law requires evidence of another’s negligence causing injuries. But, since Florida is a comparative negligence state, any liability you might hold for being struck by a vehicle exiting a driveway could impact your compensation recovery.
For example, if you tried to run past a vehicle that you knew was pulling out of the drive instead of waiting, you might be found partially responsible. That percentage of liability you have will be taken from any damages you receive.
Situations involving children are handled somewhat differently by the courts since it’s well-known that a child’s actions are not always reasonable compared to adults. A driver is ultimately the one who has a duty of care not to cause harm while behind the wheel. If they are negligent while driving, causing physical, emotional, or financial damage, the fault will primarily be their own. This doesn’t mean that kids can play in traffic because their parents also owe them a duty of care by supervising them.
At the end of the day, if you or a loved one were hurt in an Orlando driveway accident, it’s essential to consult with a highly trained personal injury attorney about your case. Doing so can help you determine if you hold any responsibility for the damages you suffered and how this can affect your claim.
Get the Compensation You Deserve After a Driveway Accident
If you or someone you know has been injured in a driveway accident, speak with the Orlando personal injury attorneys of Jordan Law right away. These cases can quickly become complicated and contentious when dealing with the at-fault party’s insurer. Our team will aggressively pursue the damages you suffered while you focus on healing.
Trust us to thoroughly investigate your claim and build a solid case by using evidence and expert testimony to prove the driver who struck you is responsible for your injuries. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation and learn more about what rights you have to compensation.