Car Accidents Involving People With Disabilities
All Floridians should have access to the freedom of driving, as it provides the ability to get to jobs, social activities, and other necessities such as doctors visits. This freedom is especially vital to those living with disabilities. Modern technology has also allowed for modifications in vehicles so that these individuals may be able to operate them efficiently, and more importantly, safely. When car accidents involving people with disabilities occur, the liability that attaches to non-disabled drivers also applies to them. The Miami car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon represent those car accident victims injured in a collision involving a disabled driver. Our lawyers also help disabled people who have been victims of another’s negligence in a motor vehicle crash.
Disabled drivers face the same legal consequences as those without a disability when they injure someone else on the road. However, just because a driver is disabled does not make them any more liable, nor does it preclude them being victimized by another’s negligence. The Law Offices of Robert Dixon can help you determine who is at fault for your accident. Our firm assists clients in the South Florida area, including Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach County with personal injury or wrongful death claims arising out of a collision. Please call us today and we can schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.Disabled Drivers in South Florida
In some states, drivers who have disabilities must obtain specialized licenses or a license that has restrictions placed on it. In Florida, any driver that has passed the standard driver’s license test is deemed safe to operate a vehicle. However, a Florida license may contain restriction codes that a disabled driver must follow. For example, if a “M” appears on a person’s license, that means the vehicle that driver is operating must be equipped with hand controls or a pedal extension.
A disabled driver is defined as any driver who does not have the physical ability to operate a vehicle safely without using some type of assistive technology or a special device. Some examples of devices that might be necessary for a disabled driver include:
- Automatic transmission and power steering
- Hand controls to regulate braking and acceleration
- Handles for one-handed steering
- Siren detector for a hearing-impaired driver
- Floor-mounted steering for foot control
- Other specialized adjustments for a specific disabilities
Because of some of these restriction requirements, disabled drivers may have some additional liability as they are responsible for safely installing and maintaining any assistive devices.Car Accidents Involving People with Disabilities
All drivers owe each other, as well as all road users, a duty of reasonable care. If a driver breaches that duty and causes another individual’s injuries, resulting in damages, that is considered negligence under the law. In car accidents involving people with disabilities, when a driver is found negligent, he or she is responsible for compensating anyone injured as a result. Additionally, often disabled drivers are required to take additional measures above and beyond those of other drivers to make sure their vehicle and any assistive devices are in good condition for safe operation.
A car accident involving a disabled driver may also be caused by a defective device. In these circumstances, the manufacturer of that device can be held strictly liable for any harm. Manufacturers owe a duty to consumers to make sure the products they produce are reasonably safe. So, for example, if a hand control that is meant to regulate the brakes is defective, and causes an accident, the manufacturer can be held accountable to victims injured.
Car accidents can lead to severe injuries such as paralysis, broken bones, and brain injury, or sometimes be fatal. In a personal injury suit, an injured victim can be awarded damages for past and future medical costs, lost income, as well as diminished earning capacity. In fatal collisions, families may file a wrongful death claim in order to be compensated for any outstanding medical expenses in addition to burial or funeral costs.Seek Legal Assistance in Miami If you have been injured, or a loved one has died, as a result of a serious collision, legal action is often the last thing on your mind. However, it is also sometimes necessary to make sure you have the financial assistance you need in recovery. The lawyers at our firm in Miami are dedicated to offering experienced and compassionate legal support for all victims impacted by a car accident. If you have questions regarding your legal options following a car accident involving someone with a disability, please call the attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon at 877.499.4878 or contact us online today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to learn more about our legal services.