Blindsided by reckless driver...

by Drew
(Orlando, FL)

I was on a two lane country road, using it because the main road was shut because of an accident. I got to a point where I wanted to turn left, so I slowed and put on my turn signal. There was no oncoming traffic so I started to turn when...WHAM!!! a big crash and impact. I wound up on the grass on the opposite side of the road, the driver of the other car next to me and over turned.

I guess when I slowed to turn, she jumped out into the oncoming traffic lane to pass me (on my left side) and whoever else was behind me. As I turned left, her front passenger side nailed my front driver side.

My car is probably totaled. I really banged my head hard on the driver's side glass, along with my arm. I was expecting to be in bad shape but walked away. I had a slight bump on the head and a little neck stiffness. I will have a doctor check me out tomorrow.

Being that she entered the oncoming traffic lane to pass and caused this, even the police officers said she was at fault. Other than getting treatment if I have an issue, I'm hoping the other driver's insurance will reimburse me for the cost of the rental car. Is this correct? If my car is totaled, what I can I do if I am low-balled?

I can't afford to get another new car and I don't want to get someone else's used problem. My car was running great. I took great care of them. What can I do? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Blindsided by reckless driver...":

Drew (Orlando, FL):

From the facts you present, the other driver should have been cited by the police under Florida Statutes Title 23, Motor Vehicle Code Section 316.083(1) "Overtaking and Passing a Vehicle" which reads in part...

"The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall give an appropriate signal as provided for in section 316.156, shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance, and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle."

Be sure to get a copy of the Police Crash Report. In it will likely be a plethora of helpful information, including a diagram of the accident scene, witness names, if any, insurance company information, citations issued, and more.

You can purchase the report at the Florida Highway Patrol Crash Reports page.

From the facts you present, there should be no dispute over driver negligence. The driver's insurance company should provide you with the means to obtain a rental car at their expense.

However, you will likely be disappointed when the insurance company offers you no more than Kelley Blue Book value in the event your car is totaled. Unfortunately, that is all the insurance company is obliged to pay.

From the seriousness of the crash, you may not have been able to take photographs of the scene and vehicle damage. That is understandable. In any event, make sure you take several photos of your car for insurance purposes.

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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