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Florida Personal Injury Lawyers / Boca Raton Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyer

Boca Raton Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyer

The Sunshine State has one of the highest percentages of uninsured motorists in the country. Florida also has one of the nation’s lowest auto insurance coverage minimum requirements. Therefore, many drivers are either uninsured or underinsured. The medical bills alone in a catastrophic (life-threatening) injury case often exceed $100,000. If the tortfeasor’s (negligent driver’s) insurance company doesn’t cover these expenses, the victim could be financially responsible for them, even if a court declares the tortfeasor is liable for damages.

The experienced Boca Raton uninsured motorist accident lawyers at Smith, Ball & Báez aren’t satisfied with a paper judgment that does nothing to help victims move on after car crashes. So, we look for ways to solve this problem. Fortunately, as outlined below, several vicarious liability theories are available. These theories make these cases much more complex, but our legal team is up to the challenge.

Owner Liability

When teen drivers cause crashes, the negligent entrustment theory usually applies, at least in most states. This theory also applies if a roommate or friend loans a car to another roommate or friend.

Generally, owners negligently entrust their vehicles to incompetent drivers. Evidence of incompetency includes no valid drivers’ license and a driving record that includes a prior at-fault collision or safety suspension.

However, Florida is the only state in the country with a strict liability vicarious law. A Boca Raton uninsured motorist accident lawyer doesn’t have to prove the owner negligently entrusted the vehicle to the tortfeasor (negligent driver). Instead, a victim/plaintiff must only prove ownership and responsibility.

Tortfeasors normally breach their duty of care when they drive aggressively (speeding, tailgating) or while impaired (substance use, fatigue) and cause crashes.

Strict liability also applies in U-Haul truck and other commercial cases. These companies are financially responsible for crash damages, even if the company and its agents weren’t negligent during the transaction.

Employer Liability

The respondeat superior rule is a similar vicarious liability theory. Employers are financially responsible for crash damages if the tortfeasor (negligent driver) was an employee who was working within the scope of employment at the time of the wreck.

Once upon a time, courts defined these elements very narrowly. For example, unless the tortfeasor was a regular delivery driver on his/her regular route, respondeat superior usually didn’t apply.

Today, courts define these elements in broad, victim-friendly terms. Employees are any individuals the company controls. Even an unpaid volunteer is an employee. Furthermore, any act that benefits the employer in any way is within the scope of employment. Simply driving a delivery truck satisfies this element. The truck’s logo means free advertising.

Other employer liability theories, which usually apply in assault and other intentional tort cases, include negligent supervision and negligent hiring.

Alcohol Provider Liability

Bars, restaurants, and other commercial alcohol providers are financially responsible for alcohol-related crash damages if they knowingly sold alcohol to individuals who were habitually addicted to this substance.

Evidence on this point includes prior alcohol purchases at that location and statements the tortfeasor made about habitual addiction.

The standard is high in this area, but the burden of proof is low. Victims must only establish facts by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). So, a little proof goes a long way.

Count on a Tough-Minded Palm Beach County Accident Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced uninsured motorist accident lawyer in Boca Raton, contact Smith, Ball, Baez & Prather, Florida Injury Lawyers. You have a limited amount of time to act.