According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), approximately 20 percent of all fatal collisions are due to vehicles striking a fixed object, such as a guardrail, tree, road sign or utility pole.
Sometimes another driver may be to blame for causing the collision. In other instances, a government entity responsible for maintaining the roadway may be liable. A construction company may also be to blame if the collision happened while driving through a work zone.
Filing a claim for compensation can get complicated if an insurance company refuses to cover your damages in a fixed-object collision. This is why it is important to understand your available legal options. Learn how our firm may be able to help you during a risk-free, no-obligation consultation.
Auto Insurance Coverage for Florida Drivers
Florida law requires that all drivers carry the following minimum amount of auto insurance coverage:
- $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, which can help cover medical expenses and lost wages regardless of fault. Coverage applies to the insured, anyone living in his or her household, and any passengers uninsured under other policies.
- $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL) insurance, which can help cover damages to a vehicle and property losses caused by a collision.
However, it is important to note that most liability insurance policies do not cover single-vehicle collisions. If collision coverage is not included in your auto insurance policy, you may have to pay for damages out of your own pocket in a fixed-object collision. This coverage is optional for Florida drivers.
If you sustained serious injuries and significant vehicle damage, you may want to consider investigating if someone else’s negligence may have caused or contributed to the crash.
Potential Liability for a Fixed-Object Collision
You may be able to seek compensation if the collision was caused by one of these parties:
- Another driver – Perhaps another driver hit your vehicle before you collided with the fixed object. This can happen when a driver sideswipes a vehicle or pushes it off the roadway and into a guardrail. Even if there was no contact with another vehicle, a drunk or distracted driver may have swerved into your lane, forcing you to steer off the roadway and strike a tree instead.
- Construction company – Construction companies are responsible for making sure a work zone is free from hazards. They may be liable for a collision if construction equipment was moved onto the roadway without warning and that forced you to veer off and strike a traffic barrier.
- Government entity – State and city government entities may be liable for a fixed object collision if they failed to ensure the roadways are safe. They may also be responsible for collisions caused by poor road design (i.e. steep curves) and poor maintenance (i.e. faded road signs and potholes).
- Product manufacturer – If you lost control of your vehicle and hit a fixed object due to a sudden tire blowout or faulty brakes, the manufacturer of the vehicle or vehicle part may be responsible.
- Property owner – Property owners have a legal obligation to keep debris out of the road. If you hit debris that is in your path, the property owner may be liable for your damages.
If someone else’s actions resulted in a collision, we recommend considering legal representation. A West Palm Beach automotive collision attorney from our firm is prepared to review your situation in a free case evaluation. There are zero upfront fees or legal obligations to retain our services.
Building a Strong Case for Compensation
It may be easier to build a case against the at-fault driver if he or she remains at the scene. If the driver flees the collision, this can make things harder, especially if your damages exceed your auto policy limits.
You may have no other way to seek compensation than from the other driver’s auto insurance policy. If he or she is not identified or located, you may be left paying for the difference in damages.
It is important to contact the police so that an official report can be filed. If you are physically capable, take photos of the scene and your injuries as well as the damage to your vehicle and the fixed object.
Should anyone have witnessed the collision, be sure to get their contact information. They may have seen the fleeing driver, a partial license plate number or the make and model of the vehicle.
An attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to build a strong case against any liable party.
Contact Gordon & Partners for Legal Help
Gordon & Partners is ready to advise you of your potential legal options and help you obtain the compensation you need. We have a proven track record of success, recovering millions for our clients.
The initial consultation comes at no cost to you. We are available 24/7 to take your call, day or night. We also work on a contingency fee basis, so there are no fees if we take or work on a case.