Dangerous Instrumentality Claim and Your Car Accident Case

The Florida Department of Highways Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) has well-documented the number of uninsured drivers on Florida’s roads. According to recent data, the statewide uninsured motorist rate for June 2024 is 6.37%. This is 1,038,246 of the total 16,306,173 registrations in Florida. Unfortunately, this often leaves motorists uncertain about how to recover damages. This is especially so if the at-fault driver is uninsured. Understanding a dangerous instrumentality claim can be crucial in these situation.

One way to recover is through the motorists’ own uninsured/underinsured (UM) insurance coverage, if they have it. However, this is not always an option, as not every driver in Florida carries UM coverage. While recommended, Florida does not require drivers to carry UM coverage.

Another way to obtain full recovery for your damages caused by someone else’s negligence is through various legal theories. Lawyers can use these theories against potentially liable parties. One such theory is a dangerous instrumentality claim against the owner of the car that hit you.

Florida Law Regarding a Dangerous Instrumentality

If a vehicle owned by someone other than the driver hits you, you may have a claim against the vehicle’s owner. Legally, we call this a dangerous instrumentality claim. Florida’s dangerous instrumentality law applies when the motorist who hits you is operating a vehicle owned by a third party. For example, let’s say a person lets a friend borrow their car and the friend causes an accident. Florida law can hold the vehicle’s owner liable. You only need to show that the owner entrusted their vehicle to a driver who caused an accident. This alone can establish a dangerous instrumentality claim. The rationale behind this rule is that motor vehicles are inherently dangerous. Only those capable of driving safely should operate motor vehicles.

Contact Schwed, Adams & McGinley

At Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A., our experienced personal injury attorneys have over 200 years of combined legal practice. We represent victims of motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall incidents, and other personal injury scenarios in Florida. Since 2007, we have represented more than 15,000 satisfied clients! Our attorneys are committed to securing maximum compensation for injuries caused by someone else’s negligence. You may decide to pursue your own insurer through a UM claim. Or you may pursue a dangerous instrumentality claim against the vehicle owner. Either way, we are here to help. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall incident, or any other situation caused by someone else’s negligence in Florida, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A today at 877-694-6079 or contact@schwedlawfirm.com for a free consultation.