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Who is Liable for Personal Injuries and Related Damages Caused by an Automobile Accident in Florida?

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In Florida, the at fault driver is legally responsible for the damages of the injury victim. In addition to the at fault driver, the owner of the vehicle is also liable to the injury victim under Florida law under the concept of the Dangerous Instrumentality Law. Florida law designated the use and operation of an automobile as a dangerous instrumentality. Therefore, under Florida law both the driver and the owner of the vehicle (even if the owner the vehicle was not present at the time of the automobile accident) are liable for the automobile accident automobile accident personal injuries and related damages. In addition to the owner and the driver the vehicle, an insurance company may be liable for payment of the damages related to an automobile accident to the injury. The automobile insurance company of the at fault driver / at fault owner cannot typically be sued directly for the accident related damages; however the automobile insurance company will be responsible to pay any settlement or judgment within the insurance policy limits. On the other hand. the uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance company of the injury victim or of the vehicle occupied by the injury victim can be sued directly for the accident related damages under certain circumstances. Automobile insurance laws and liability laws can be quite confusing and complicated. Because of this, it is important to consult with a Florida automobile accident as the issues related to liability (fault), damages, and insurance coverage.
In addition to the owner of the vehicle and the driver the vehicle, a company or business that employs a person acting within the course and scope of the employment can also be held liable for the injury victim’s damages and losses. Under Florida law, there are also special provisions as to the liability of a parent when a teen under the age of 18 is negligent causes an accident. A parent who signs the parental consent form for a teen driver under the age 18 can be held liable regardless if the vehicle is owned by the parent or not.
In summary, there can be several persons / entities liable for the damages sustained by an injury victim when there is an automobile accident in the State of Florida. Depending on the facts and circumstances, the following may be liable for the injuries and / or responsible for payment of the damages sustained by the injury victim: at fault driver, at fault owner, parent of teen driver, employer of at fault driver, at fault driver’s automobile insurance company, at fault owner’s automobile insurance company, uninsured / underinsured insurance company for the vehicle occupied by the injury victim, and / or uninsured / underinsured insurance company for the vehicle owned by the injury victim. See also Florida Automobile Accident.


When faced with the challenges and issues caused by an automobile accident, contact a Florida Automobile Accident Attorney for advice, consultation, and representation. Wood, Atter & Wolf has been representing automobile accident victims since 1957. While times have changed, our commitment to our client has remained the same. At Wood, Atter & Wolf, we are On Your Side – At Your Side when you need representation for a Florida Automobile Accident.

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