Title: Who Is Responsible if You Hit an Illegally Parked Car in Florida?
Driving through busy streets or crowded parking lots can be a challenge, especially when encountering illegally parked vehicles. Accidents happen, but when you hit an illegally parked car, it can leave you wondering about the legal responsibilities and financial implications. In this article, we will explore the various factors that determine who is responsible if you hit an illegally parked car in the state of Florida.
Understanding Florida Parking Laws:
Before delving into the question of liability, it is essential to familiarize ourselves with Florida’s parking laws. According to Florida Statute 316.1945, it is illegal to stop, stand, or park a vehicle in specific scenarios, including:
1. Parking within an intersection or crosswalk.
2. Parking on a sidewalk or bicycle path.
3. Parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant or fire station driveway.
4. Parking within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection.
5. Parking within 30 feet of a stop sign, yield sign, or traffic control signal.
6. Parking within 50 feet of a railroad crossing.
7. Parking in front of a driveway, alley, or private road entrance.
8. Parking in a disabled person parking spot without a valid permit.
When you collide with an illegally parked car, determining liability may depend on various factors, including the following:
1. Negligence: If you hit an illegally parked car due to your negligence, such as distracted driving or excessive speed, you will likely be held responsible for the damages.
2. Visibility: If the illegally parked car was difficult to see due to poor lighting or obstructions, it may be argued that the owner of the illegally parked car shares some responsibility.
3. Contributory Negligence: In Florida, if the vehicle was illegally parked, the owner may be held partially responsible for any damages caused by their improper parking. The degree of liability will depend on the circumstances surrounding the accident.
4. Comparative Fault: Florida applies comparative fault laws, which means that liability can be shared between the parties involved based on each person’s degree of fault. This can affect the amount of compensation awarded.
5. Insurance Coverage: The insurance policies of both parties involved will play a crucial role in determining liability and financial responsibility.
Q1: Should I report the accident to the police if I hit an illegally parked car?
A: Yes, it is advisable to report the incident to the local authorities, especially if there are significant damages or injuries involved.
Q2: What should I do immediately after hitting an illegally parked car?
A: Take photos of the scene, gather contact information from any witnesses, and document any visible damages to both vehicles. It is also crucial to inform your insurance company promptly.
Q3: Will my insurance cover the damages?
A: If you have comprehensive coverage or collision coverage, your insurance may cover the damages. However, it is subject to your policy terms and deductibles.
Q4: Can I be sued by the owner of the illegally parked car?
A: Yes, the owner of the illegally parked car may pursue legal action against you for damages, depending on the circumstances. It is essential to consult with a legal professional if you face a potential lawsuit.
When it comes to determining who is responsible if you hit an illegally parked car in Florida, several factors come into play. The outcome will depend on the specific circumstances of the accident, such as negligence, visibility, and insurance coverage. It is crucial to understand the applicable parking laws, report the incident to the authorities, and inform your insurance company promptly. If you find yourself in such a situation, it is advisable to seek legal advice to protect your rights and navigate through any potential legal ramifications.