Were You Hit While Stopped On The Side Of The Road?
The shoulder of a highway, county, or city road is a dangerous place. Distracted drivers, looking down at their cell phones, are a prime example of why the shoulder is dangerous. Drowsy drivers, drunk drivers, and aggressive drivers who lose control of their vehicles due to excessive speed are also prime examples of why the shoulder is a dangerous place. In fact, 11.1 percent of fatal highway collisions involve a parked vehicle on the shoulder, according to one study. If you were hit while parked on the shoulder, you need to talk to an attorney.
Purpose of Highway Shoulders
According to the Federal Highway Administration, highway shoulders help create:
- Clear line of sight;
- Allow out of control vehicles a recovery lane;
- Reduce crashes by providing a lane to maneuver into;
- Provide space for emergency and law enforcement vehicles;
- Allow more space for cyclists;
- Provide better water drainage;
- Help increase capacity by increasing driver comfort; and
- Provide storage for disabled vehicles
As such, it becomes apparent that the main reasons for having a shoulder on a highway is not to text or look up directions. As such, it may be more difficult to win your case than you think. In many circumstances, the driver who hits the stopped vehicle may be held partially liable, along with the driver of the stopped vehicle. This is called comparative negligence, and the victim’s compensation is reduced by the degree of their own liability.
Common Reasons For Being on the Shoulder of the Road
- Engine problems;
- Running out of gas;
- Flat tire;
- Looking up directions;
- Using a cell phone to make a call or text; and
- Adjusting fallen items, addressing disruptive children, and otherwise attending to interior personal items in the vehicle.
Who is at Fault?
Collisions on road shoulders are not always the fault of the moving vehicle. Much depends on the location of the parked vehicle, the type of roadway, whether the parked vehicle is fully off the road or is hanging over the white line, the speed and actions of the other vehicle, and more. As such, you should not assume that your personal injury case will be an easy win; experienced legal counsel is needed in all types of roadway shoulder collisions.
It is Illegal to Stop in a Bike Lane, Bus Lane, Emergency Vehicle Lane, or No Parking Lane
Not all shoulders are for parking or stopping. Even briefly stopping in a bike lane to scold a noisy child is against the law, for example. Passenger vehicles are barred from using certain types of shoulders, even in breakdown situations such as a flat tire. Drivers who stop on the shoulder of a road can be held partially or fully liable when another vehicle, including a bike, collides with them.
An Orlando Roadway Shoulder Collision Attorney Can Help
Whether you were hit by a drunk driver, an emergency vehicle, or a distracted texter, we can help you win your personal injury claim if you suffered injuries while stopped on the shoulder of the road. Call the experienced Orlando personal injury lawyers at the Payer Law today at 866-930-1238 to schedule a free consultation.