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Motor Vehicle Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents are a significant portion of the personal injury cases in South Florida. They can range from minor to catastrophic. And we’ve handled, litigated, and resolved cases with just about every insurance company and retailer.

General rules of negligence apply. If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you have the “burden” to prove four elements: duty; breach; causation; and damages.

As to duty, the Florida Supreme Court has stated that: “[A]ll members of a civilised [sic] commonwealth are under a general duty towards their neighbors to do them no hurt without lawful cause or excuse. The precise extent of the duty, as well as the nature and extent of the recognised [sic] exceptions, varies according to the nature of the case.” Emerson v. Lambert, 48 Fla. L. Weekly S227a (Fla. Nov. 16, 2023) (citing Frederick Pollock, The Law of Torts: A Treatise on the Principles of Obligations Arising from Civil Wrongs in the Common Law 1 (6th ed. 1901). Determining whether a duty exists is akin to “fix[ing] the dividing lines between those cases in which a man is liable for harm which he has done, and those in which he is not.” Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., The Common Law 79 (Dover Publications 1991) (1881).

Prior to Florida’s creation of the dangerous instrumentality doctrine in 1920, our state relied on general common law principles to determine liability (which includes duty) in a car accident. But “[u]nder [the dangerous instrumentality] doctrine, an owner who gives authority to another to operate the owner’s vehicle, by either express or implied consent, has a nondelegable obligation [or duty] to ensure that the vehicle is operated properly.” Hertz Corp. v. Jackson, 617 So. 2d 1051, 1053 (Fla. 1993). For more information on Florida’s dangerous instrumentality doctrine, please click here.

As to remaining elements (breach, causation, and damages), please see our personal injury page.

The biggest issue in these cases is often insurance coverage. If the “at fault” driver was driving a truck from a large corporation, insurance is not much of a concern. But for most everyone else, it’s critical. Even if you sue a wealthy person, there are creative ways to evade judgments and protect assets. The concern for many is that by the time you sue, get judgment, and seek to collect, a crafty defendant of means will have moved things around and make it very difficult to enforce a judgment. You don’t want to “win the battle but lose the war.” In other words, you don’t want to fight for years to obtain a judgment, only to find out you cannot collect.

So insurance coverage becomes a crux of these cases and Florida’s no-fault law is, to put it kindly, ass-backwards. To read more about how insurance coverage can often be the determinative factor in a case, please read our webpage on Motor Vehicle Insurance page.

If you or anyone you know needs a lawyer to help seek justice in a motor vehicle accident, please call us at 754-400-5150 or contact us online. Let the Law Offices of Evan M. Rosen serve you!

Client Reviews

Mr. Rosen was recommended to us by our friends and we highly recommend him for his excellent service. He represented us in the matter of foreclosure defense. His comprehensive and detailed knowledge of Florida law, federal law, and ongoing relevant cases was key to building a robust and winning...

Jadwiga M.

In a few words, Evan Rosen saved my house. He got a final judgment in my favor. The judge gave the bank many opportunities (continuance of the trial even a mistrial) to solve all the issues that Evan Rosen will bring up to the judge (issues that were wrong with my case). In the end, his arguments...

Oscar D.

I am so grateful first to god and for the blessing of putting attorney Evan Rosen and his team of professional, in our lives. If you are going through a foreclosure and don't know what to do, I can honestly tell you that attorney Evan Rosen is the person to talk (855-55-Rosen) he takes his time to...

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