Florida has some of the busiest highways in the nation. Between tourists on their way to a vacation hotspot and locals who are just trying to get across town, the potential for highway accidents is high. Any type of car crash can be dangerous, but highway crashes are particularly troublesome because of the high speeds that are often involved. Serious, life-altering injuries can result, as can a tragic death. At Donaldson & Weston, our car accident lawyers help victims in Stuart and beyond as they seek to get their lives back together following a collision.Holding a Negligent Driver Accountable for a Highway Accident
The ultimate goal in most car accident cases is to prove that the other driver was negligent. In other words, the victim must show that the defendant did not exercise the amount of care that a reasonable driver would have exercised under the circumstances. This consists of four elements: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
In highway accident cases, the duty that a driver owes to other motorists, passengers, and pedestrians is generally defined as complying with all applicable traffic rules and avoiding posing foreseeable risks of harm to others. For instance, drivers are expected to obey speed limits and signal when changing lanes. Failing to do this or engaging in other careless conduct, such as texting behind the wheel or driving while drunk, constitutes a breach of the duty of care.
Causation is the link between the defendant’s breach of duty and the accident in which the victim was hurt. It sometimes may be an issue in cases in which a plaintiff had a pre-existing condition, but the defendant can potentially still be held liable for any worsening in the plaintiff’s condition due to the crash. Damages may include medical expenses, lost income, lost future earning capacity, pain and suffering, and property damage, among other examples.
Highway accident lawsuits must be filed within the appropriate statute of limitations period, or else they probably will be dismissed on procedural grounds. Thus, it is best to consult an attorney soon after a collision. The general statute of limitations for car accident cases in Florida is four years, but wrongful death cases must be filed within two years. Other time limits may apply in some cases, and an experienced Stuart car accident attorney can help you determine when exactly your case must be filed and whether notice must be given.Consult a Motor Vehicle Collision Lawyer in the Stuart Area
If you or a family member has been hurt because of someone else’s carelessness on the road, you can contact the motor vehicle collision attorneys at Donaldson & Weston. We represent Stuart residents and other individuals throughout St. Lucie, Palm Beach, and Martin Counties, including in Port St. Lucie, West Palm Beach, and Jupiter. You can call us at (772) 266-5555 or contact us online to set up a free initial consultation. We take most cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not owe us any fees unless we are able to recover compensation for you.