Accident caused by limited visibility due to construction barrels...

by Kyle
(Lakeland, Florida)

I was recently involved in an accident in which I was making a left hand turn across an intersection and I was t-boned by an oncoming car. The accident occurred at night, around 9:30pm. There were dozens of construction barrels lined along both sides of the road as well as all three lanes leading to the intersection.

The accident occurred because neither the driver of the oncoming vehicle, nor I, could see each other due to the construction barrels obstructing the view. The intersection had a flashing yellow arrow so I slowed down, checked for oncoming traffic, and proceeded through the intersection. However, due to the construction barrels, I was unable to see the oncoming car.

The oncoming vehicle never hit their brakes and there are no signs of an attempt to slow down. She claims that she never saw me until I pulled out and she hit me. I was issued a citation and my vehicle is totaled, without collision coverage, so I am at a total loss and liable for the other vehicle's damages as well.

I do not feel that I should be held accountable for the accident due to the conditions of the road and the construction barrels present. The state trooper stated that as many as 30 accidents have happened since the construction has started at this particular intersection.

Do I have a possible case? Does the state/construction company have any liability? Thank you for any perspective you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Accident caused by limited visibility due to construction barrels...":

Kyle (Lakeland, Florida):

The State of Florida waived its sovereign immunity to be sued for negligence claims (tort claims) in 1972 with the passage of s.768.28, F.S., "Waiver of Sovereign Immunity in Tort Actions."

Claimants who allege they have sustained bodily injury, personal injury, property damage or death due to negligence of a state employee, agent, or volunteer, must adhere to the provisions of s.768.28, F.S., when filing a claim and lawsuit against the State of Florida.

Claimants must put the state agency involved in the claim and the Department of Financial Services (DFS) on notice of their claim in writing within 3 years of occurrence, and the suit cannot be filed until after a 180 day investigation period, unless the claim is denied. Service of process must be on the agency and DFS. Tort recoveries are limited to $200K per person, $300K per occurrence.

To read more about filing a tort claim in the State of Florida go here.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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