Hit By a Student Driver in Florida? What Residents Need to Know
Learning to drive is arguably one of the most important milestones for teenagers in America. Learning the rules of the road means logging hours of driving practice in the real world, which can be a nerve-wracking experience for parents and driving instructors. For example, the state of Florida alone logged just over 400,000 car accidents in 2019.
Although cars driven by student drivers are typically clearly marked, there are many instances in which experienced drivers are unable to avoid an accident where the student was at fault. If you have been hit by a student driver and sustained personal injury from the accident, you likely want to know your rights to legal action. Consider this article a primer for how to proceed if you have been hit by a student driver in Florida.
Know Your Options
When filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit in Florida, it is important to know your options regarding which parties to pursue for litigation. Depending on the nature of the accident and the extent of your injuries, you may be able to pursue legal action towards one or more of the following parties:
- The Student Driver
It stands to reason that student drivers aren’t as skilled on the road as experienced drivers. However, student drivers still have a legal responsibility to drive with a reasonable amount of caution and safety given the circumstances.
Florida is a no-fault state in terms of insurance claims, meaning both parties will likely file with their insurance, regardless of who is at fault. However, Florida law states that if you incur serious injury as a result of the accident, you are able to take legal action and file a personal injury lawsuit against the student driver, if it can be proved they were driving in a negligent manner.
- The Driving Instructor
A driving instructor is responsible for using their keen eyes to observe, correct, and reinforce a student driver’s actions on the road. It is this expertise that allows student drivers to learn the rules of the road safely.
If it can be proved that the driving instructor was acting negligently when the accident occurred, it may be possible to file suit against the instructor. It is assumed that driving instructors working for larger companies will have liability insurance, so consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before pursuing this course of action.
- The Driving School
Taking legal action against the driving school is possible, but it can get complex. If you can prove that the driving school exerted carelessness in hiring its employees or maintained an inventory of defective vehicles used for training on the road, you may be able to pursue litigation.
This course of action draws on a concept known as vicarious liability, which states that the driving school can be responsible for the unintentional acts of its employees as long as the acts occurred within the scope of the job. Incorrect training and/or improper communication with employees is grounds for taking legal action.
Get Professional Insight
For over three decades, Payer Law has been helping residents in Orlando obtain compensation for their personal injury losses. Contact the Orlando personal injury attorneys at Payer Law today to get your personal injury questions answered from seasoned professionals.