Dangerous Instrumentality Rule

Car Accident Attorneys Serving Residents of Miami

Loaning a vehicle to a child home from college, a friend in need, or another individual is a commonplace occurrence. However, if a person lends a vehicle to a driver who then acts recklessly, causing injuries to someone else, they can be held liable for the harm caused under Florida’s dangerous instrumentality rule. If you have been injured in a collision involving a vehicle loaned to a careless driver, the Miami car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon can help you determine who may be at fault for your injuries. Our firm represents victims in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties, as well as elsewhere in South Florida, assisting them throughout all aspects of the legal process.

The Dangerous Instrumentality Doctrine in Florida

The dangerous instrumentality rule is a doctrine established under the common law, stating that an owner of an inherently dangerous object may be held accountable for the injuries resulting from the object’s use. The doctrine has been extended to classify motor vehicles as dangerous objects. Under the dangerous instrumentality rule, a vehicle’s owner may be held responsible for all of the damages sustained by a third party due to the negligent operation of a vehicle driven with the owner’s knowledge and consent.

As a result, an owner may be vicariously liable for the driver’s negligence. To receive compensation for injuries from either the driver or the vehicle’s owner, a victim must first prove negligence on the part of the driver. To show negligence, an injured victim must establish that:

  • He or she was owed a duty of reasonable care;
  • The duty was breached;
  • The breach caused the victim’s injuries; and
  • Damages resulted.

All Florida drivers have a duty of care to act as a reasonable and prudent driver would behave under similar circumstances. Accordingly, a driver who speeds or otherwise acts recklessly, causing an accident, may be held liable for the injuries that result. Under the dangerous instrumentality rule, the owner of the vehicle may be strictly liable for the damages incurred as well. To hold an owner vicariously liable, the person must have an identifiable property interest in the vehicle, which is usually shown by evidence of the legal title.

Determining who may be responsible following a car accident can be a complicated process. Consulting a knowledgeable personal injury attorney is helpful in making sure your legal rights are asserted.

Enlist a Miami Lawyer for Your Car Accident Case

If you have been injured in a collision involving a negligent driver, the Miami car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon can help you determine which parties may be liable and which legal options are available to you. Our firm represents victims of all kinds of car accidents as well as other harmful events, and we are dedicated to advocating for the rights of victims. We also assist people in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and other areas of South Florida. Call (877) 499-4878 or contact us online to set up a free, no-obligation consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney.