Driving is expensive these days between the car, gas, maintenance, and of course, insurance. It gets even more expensive if you have the misfortune of having an accident. The good news – relatively speaking – is that you may not be on the hook for your damages in a car accident.
The question of who pays in an accident is surprisingly academic and complicated, but a car accident lawyer West Palm Beach, FL residents go to in their time of need can help. Part of the reason why these issues get complex is simply that accidents are complicated things. It’s rarely as simple as two cars heading down a road in the same lane and neither swerves. Often times, there are multiple factors at play in the chain of events that ends in an accident. For example, someone could swerve into oncoming traffic due to having a stroke that was in turn triggered by a new medication that the person began taking that was mistakenly prescribed to them by their doctor. Who is at fault in this situation? By count, at least two people – the driver and the doctor who prescribed them medication that caused the stroke.
Of course, if an insurance company is involved and the driver subrogates – that is assigns their right to sue over to the insurance company, the only party that will be officially involved is the insurance company. Whether the insurance company chooses to go after any third parties who may have contributed to the crash is a decision they will make on their own. In this case, your damages will be handled almost exclusively through the insurance company.
If the other driver does not have an insurance company, things become a little more complicated. Unfortunately, the final determination will come down to the extent of your coverage including whether it involves uninsured motorist coverage. That is, if you have insurance to cover a situation where you are involved in an accident caused by someone who does not have insurance. If you do have this type of insurance, then, your own insurance company will be paying for your damages. If you do not, then you can probably recover as much as your policy will allow and that’s about it.
If the person and vehicle involved in the accident are involved in some type of work activity during the accident, then the employer of the driver may also be on the hook for your damages. This is particularly true in cases involving working trucks such as 18-wheelers, dump trucks, garbage trucks, and the like. More likely than not, these trucks are going to be “working” and so accidents that they cause in the course and scope of their work will have repercussions for their employers. The more remote case involves individuals who are driving to or from work functions and are involved in an accident. In that case, there is an open question as to whether their employer is liable based in part on whether the individual was working or simply off-duty.
When it comes to driving, it’s a jungle out there and the best offense and defense usually comes in the form of robust insurance because you never know who is going to hit you and what, if anything, you’ll be able to recover from them.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from the Law Office of Eric H. Luckman, P.A., for their insight into car accidents.