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What If the Driver Was Out of Control in an Accident?

Fiol Law Group|Posted in Uncategorized on November 25, 2019

It is a driver’s duty to safely remain in control of his or her vehicle at all times. This requires keeping both hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road. It also means driving safely and prudently for roadway conditions – not recklessly or in a way that could foreseeably lead to loss of vehicle control. If a driver causes an accident by losing control of his or her vehicle, the driver could be liable for victims’ damages. If loss of vehicle control occurred due to a defective car part or roadway hazard, however, the crash could come down to someone else’s fault.

What If a Driver Lost Control of a Car? Is He or She Still at Fault?

Loss of vehicle control may not be a defense to a car accident claim if another reasonable and prudent driver would likely have been able to maintain control of the car in the same or similar circumstances. If an investigation or reconstruction of the crash shows that a safe driver reasonably would have been able to remain in control of the car and prevented the accident, the driver in question could be responsible for crash-related damages. Our Tampa car accident lawyers identify many acts of negligence that could lead to the loss of control of a motor vehicle.

  • Speeding
  • Weaving between lanes
  • Texting and driving
  • Eating or drinking
  • Driving without both hands on the wheel
  • Driving drunk
  • Driving drowsy
  • Racing
  • Road rage driving
  • Tailgating

If the driver was guilty of some act of negligence, carelessness, recklessness or wanton disregard, and this is what led to loss of control of the car, the driver could be responsible for causing the crash. Although Florida is a no-fault state, you may be able to hold an at-fault driver responsible for your damages if your injuries meet the state’s serious injury threshold (Florida Statute 627.737). If your injuries do not meet this threshold, you will file a claim with your insurance provider regardless of fault for the wreck.

Could I Still Receive Compensation?

Loss of vehicle control will not prevent another driver from owing you compensation if the driver reasonably could have avoided the accident. A personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver could still end in compensation for your medical costs, vehicle repairs, lost wages and other damages. Loss of vehicle control also should not prevent your insurance company from accepting your no-fault accident claim. Your insurance company should provide compensation up to your policy’s limits without you needing to prove the other driver’s fault.

If you suffered serious injuries but the other driver is disputing fault for losing control of the vehicle, you may need to file a claim against a different party. If the driver lost control of the vehicle due to a third party clipping his or her car in a sideswipe accident, for example, the third party could be liable for your damages instead. A situation in which you may not be eligible for compensation, however, is if an act of God such as rain caused the accident. You may need to hire an attorney to represent your serious car accident injury case if the driver that lost control of the vehicle is disputing liability.

Who Is Responsible for an Accident Caused By Vehicle Defects or Malfunctions?

If the other driver is alleging that a defective vehicle part, such as faulty brakes or a malfunctioning steering column, caused the loss of vehicle control, the manufacturer or distributor of the part may be responsible for your losses. A product liability claim against the automaker could hold it accountable without you needing to prove its negligence. Most product liability lawsuits operate on strict liability, meaning the product creator will be liable for consumers’ damages even if it was not negligent. After any type of car accident in which the other driver lost control, contact a lawyer for assistance negotiating your claim.