Center Line Accidents
It is common sense that center lines are designed to keep order on the road and ensure that drivers stay in their lanes. When a distracted, intoxicated, or otherwise careless driver veers over a center line, the results may be catastrophic. The Miami car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon assist people throughout South Florida who have been hurt by negligent drivers with seeking the compensation to which they may be entitled. When a center line accident is a result of an impatient driver passing in an inappropriate area, for example, they should be held responsible for the harm that those actions cause.Responsibility for Center Line Accidents
Pursuant to Florida statute, “no vehicle shall be driven to the left of the center line of the roadway, except when authorized by official traffic control devices….” Certain exceptions to this rule apply to crossing a center line to make a left turn into or from an alley, private road, or driveway, but otherwise such crossing is prohibited unless there is an emergency. As a result, drivers who cross a center line into oncoming traffic in an attempt to pass another vehicle or because of an impairment may be held accountable for ensuing accidents. Often, this dangerous maneuver results in a head-on collision, which could lead to catastrophic brain or spinal cord injuries, or even a fatality.
A driver who crosses a center line and causes injuries to someone else may be held liable under a negligence per se theory of responsibility. This doctrine applies to individuals who violate a statute that is enacted to protect a certain class of people from a specific harm. In this instance, the statute prohibiting vehicles from traveling to the left of a center line is meant to protect road users from car accidents and injuries. If a clear violation of the statute is not at issue, an injured victim may still recover damages from a responsible party by showing that the defendant motorist breached the duty to act as a reasonable and prudent person would act under a similar set of circumstances. For example, a driver who is engaging in a permitted use of crossing the center line, such as turning into a driveway, but fails to look for oncoming traffic before doing so, may be found to have been negligent.
Once liability is established, the damages awarded may include medical costs, loss of income, pain and suffering, and lost earning capacity. When a center line accident results in a death, certain family members may pursue a wrongful death claim on a victim’s behalf to seek the costs of burial or funeral arrangements and often loss of consortium damages. Timing is important in both personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, since the statute of limitations for the former is four years from the date of the injury, while the latter requires filing a claim within two years from the date of a victim’s death.Discuss Your Car Accident Case with a Miami Lawyer
If you or a relative has been injured or died as a result of a careless driver, the Miami car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon can help you determine your next legal steps. We offer dedicated and compassionate guidance to victims and their families in the aftermath of a serious crash. Call (877) 499-4878 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney to find out more about your legal rights. We also represent people in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and other cities throughout Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties.