In May of 2013, a Florida Highway Patrol Officer learned just how dangerous the shoulder of a highway can be, especially when you don’t have the protection of a car. Trooper Craig Coleman was sitting on his motorcycle on the shoulder of State Road 408 in Orlando using his radar to track speeding drivers. Suddenly, he noticed a car driving in the same emergency lane Trooper Coleman was parked in, barreling down straight towards the motorcycle. The trooper’s instincts at the last second saved his life. He jumped from his motorcycle just before the oncoming car slammed into him. The man driving the BMW who hit the trooper was arrested for leaving the scene of a crash, driving with a suspended license, and careless driving.
Trooper Coleman’s story is just one of thousands each year that happen across the United States. Our Miami Roadside Accident lawyers know that Florida is especially prone to roadside accidents, given the large population and tourist attractions. With accidents that occur when one or more vehicles is parked on the side or shoulder of the road, there is really little anyone can do to stop it. In Trooper Coleman’s case, an aggressive driver who was not paying attention willfully plowed into the trooper’s motorcycle. Had the trooper been anyone else, he may not have had the quick instincts to avoid being hit, and subsequently killed.
When roadside accidents occur, it is likely that at least one party is at fault. This simply means that the party at fault breached a duty that he or she owed to the driver or pedestrian that was hit and injured, especially in situations where the injured party cannot do anything to avoid the accident. If you are involved in a roadside accident, whether you are driving a car, truck, or motorcycle and hit someone who is parked on the side of the road, or if you are the person who was hit, you may have a personal injury action, depending on the specific facts of your case.
In order to determine if you have a valid personal injury claim for negligence, you need to speak with a Miami Roadside Accident Lawyer who can evaluate each fact and come to a conclusion as to whether you may in fact have a claim against another person.
When the Roadside Driver or Pedestrian May be at Fault
If you are driving lawfully and you come into contact with a motor vehicle parked on the side of the road, you may have a personal injury action if you are injured. You may also have a very good defense if you are sued in a personal injury action, if it is found that the parked vehicle was at fault. Below are some examples of this type of situation:
• The roadside driver did not have their hazard lights on;
• The roadside driver did not have any car lights on;
• The roadside driver did not park far enough to the right to avoid being in the lane with moving traffic; or • The roadside driver was intentionally trying to distract oncoming traffic (for example, throwing objects towards cars).
While a roadside driver may be at fault for a particular accident, more often than not, it is the driver of the car, truck or motorcycle who is at fault for hitting a parked motor vehicle and injuring the driver.
When the Oncoming Driver May be at Fault
A driver moving at a steady speed whom hits and injures a roadside driver, may be at fault in some of the situations described below, but certainly not limited to them:
• The driver was drinking and lost control of the vehicle, hitting the parked motor vehicle;
• The driver was texting while driving, and did not see that a car was parked on the shoulder of the road;
• The driver was speeding, and could not avoid hitting the roadside driver; or • The driver was using the shoulder lane to get around slow traffic, and subsequently collided with a parked vehicle.
No matter who may be at fault in a roadside accident, you need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney on your side who handles accidents just like those explained above. Contact a Miami Roadside Accident attorney as soon as possible to determine if you may be able to recover for the harm you have suffered.
Contact a Miami Roadside Accident Attorney Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation
The Miami Roadside Accident Lawyers of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully handle your roadside accident case. Our team of seasoned personal injury attorneys has been recognized by nationwide peer review organizations such as Martindale Hubbell (“AV” rated), has been deemed “Superlawyers,” and is an invited member of Primerus, an international society of leading law firms. With more than 100 collective years of legal experience fighting for the rights of clients, our attorneys are among those voted as South Florida’s top-rated lawyers by the Miami Herald. Call (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 today for an evaluation of your case or visit our website for more information.