Making an illegal U-turn, driving the wrong way on a one-way street and passing another vehicle in an area where passing is prohibited are just a few examples of illegal driving maneuvers that can lead to a catastrophic accident.
When drivers get behind the wheel, they have a legal duty to follow the rules of the road. Unfortunately, if you regularly travel on the streets and highways of Boca Raton, you probably know that many motorists fail to uphold this duty.
When this happens, other drivers, as well as pedestrians and bicyclists, are put at serious risk for being hurt in a car crash.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle collision that may have been caused by an illegal driving maneuver, Hollander Law Firm can help. Our legal team believes that each motorist has an obligation to drive safely and responsibly. When a driver fails to obey a traffic signal, stop sign or other rules of the road and an accident occurs, the driver needs to be held accountable.
Victims or the loved ones of those who are killed in a collision deserve to be fairly compensated for their injuries and losses. An experienced team of Boca Raton car accident attorneys can help ensure that you receive the full financial compensation to which you are entitled.
Common Violations of Florida’s Driving Laws
While motorists are required to learn the driving laws when they get their Florida license, far too many drivers either forget or ignore these rules when they are on the road.
Some of the most common illegal driving maneuvers that are likely to result in a collision include:
- Making a turn from the wrong lane
- Passing in a no-passing zone
- Driving down a one-way street in the wrong direction
- Making an illegal U-turn
- Running a red light
- Failing to stop at a stop sign
Pursuing a Legal Claim for Damages When a Motor Vehicle Crash Occurs
When a motorist breaks a driving law and a crash or collision occurs, accident victims have the right to pursue a legal claim for damages. A driving maneuver that violates law generally creates a presumption that the driver acted in a negligent manner. While a presumption of negligence can make it easier to prove your claim, you still have to show that the illegal maneuver was the direct cause of the accident to recover compensation for your injuries and damages.
Hollander Law Firm knows that proving a car accident claim can be challenging, even when a driver may have made an illegal maneuver. In these situations, we will act quickly to investigate the crash site and interview eyewitnesses so that we can establish that the other driver was to blame for your accident.
Q&A with Hollander Law Firm Boca Raton Car Accident Attorneys
Q: If the Other Driver Received a Ticket, Does This Mean That I am Entitled to Financial Compensation?
Not necessarily. As we mentioned above, illegal driving maneuvers create a presumption of negligence. However, this presumption can be overcome; and, in any case, you need to be able to prove that the other driver’s traffic violation was a direct cause of the collision.
In many situations, this causal connection will be fairly obvious (i.e. if you were hit head-on by an oncoming driver who attempted to pass in a no-passing zone), but this will not always be the case. As a result, in order to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve, it will be important for you to hire an experienced car accident attorney.
Q: If the Other Driver Pleads Guilty to a Traffic Violation, Can I Use This to Help Prove My Case?
Potentially, yes. The laws around the use of guilty pleas in personal injury cases are surprisingly complicated; but, in many cases, it will be possible to use a guilty plea to help prove your claim. In particular, if you suffered a “serious bodily injury,” then the other driver’s guilty plea can be presented as evidence in support of your claim for financial compensation.
In other situations, the driver’s guilty plea may not be admissible as direct evidence of liability, but it may be admissible, “as evidence of falsification, forgery, uttering, fraud, or perjury.”
Q: What if the Other Driver Did Not Receive a Ticket?
If the other driver did not receive a ticket, this ultimately is likely to have little, if any, bearing on your claim for damages. First, there are a variety of reasons why the other driver may not have received a ticket. Even if the responding officer did not believe that the issuance of a ticket was warranted, a subsequent investigation could reveal that the other driver was clearly in violation of Florida law at the time of the crash.
Second, the legal standards for criminal culpability and civil liability are very different. In order to be guilty of a traffic violation, the evidence must establish guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
However, in order to prove your personal injury claim, you only need to prove liability “by a preponderance of the evidence.” So, even if the evidence is insufficient to support prosecution, there could still be more than enough evidence to prove that you are entitled to a financial recovery.
Q: What if I was Speeding or Committed Another Traffic Violation Immediately Prior to the Accident?
If you committed a traffic infraction, the same general principles apply. The fact that you were speeding, for example, does not necessarily mean that you caused the accident, although it does create a presumption that you were at least partially to blame.
What if you and the other driver were both partially at fault? This is where Florida’s “pure comparative negligence” law comes into play.
Under this law, you can still seek financial compensation, but the amount of your recovery will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault.
Get Help From Our Boca Raton Car Accident Attorneys if You’ve Been Hurt in an Illegal Driving Maneuvers Accident
Drivers have a duty to obey rules of the road. When motorists disregard the law and an accident occurs, they need to be held accountable for their negligent and reckless actions.
If you or a family member has been involved in a car crash caused by a driver who performed an illegal driving maneuver, you need to seek advice from a team of skilled Boca Raton car accident attorneys.
Hollander Law Firm offers free consultations to car accident victims and their families. Call our law offices today at (561) 347-7770 to schedule your appointment.