Car accidents caused by funeral processions are more common than most people think. Although these convoys have the right of way on Florida roads, this does not mean that they should abuse this right. If you or your loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by a funeral procession, you may be able to hold the funeral home or any other party liable for the damages.
The last thing you expect, especially at a funeral, is to find yourself in a legal battle with a funeral home. But the truth is, funeral homes, like other businesses, must exercise their duty of care to their clients and everyone around them. For example, even though funeral processions have the right of way in Florida, they may still be liable if they cause an accident, injure other individuals in the procession, or even those not involved, such as the general public.
We've discussed some of the most common causes of funeral procession car accidents in Florida to put things into perspective.
Not Using the Appropriate Lights
In Kissimmee and other cities throughout Florida, funeral procession drivers must drive with their headlights on high or low beam. The tail lights must also be on, and if possible, the drivers should use flashing hazard lights. The whole point of this requirement is to notify other drivers that there's a funeral procession going on and that particular vehicle is part of the convoy.
Suppose the driver fails to use the appropriate lights to warn other motorists. In that case, they may be held responsible in the event of an accident that injures or kills other motorists or even pedestrians.
Even though traffic laws usually protect funeral procession drivers on many occasions, they still owe other drivers and pedestrians a duty of care. So if such a driver causes an accident due to negligent driving, they may be held liable for their actions.
For example, funeral procession drivers are still expected to follow the speed limit on local roads and major highways throughout Florida. For this reason, they may be liable if they cause an accident due to speeding.
In addition, funeral processions usually move in a straight line. Drivers cannot leave the procession randomly or carelessly unless during an emergency. So if you got injured or your beloved got killed due to negligent driving, you may be able to file a claim or lawsuit against the negligent party even if they're part of a funeral procession.
Poor Funeral Procession Management
A lot of planning occurs at a funeral home before the procession leaves the premises to the burial site. Any form of negligence during the planning stage of the procession could lead to serious accidents, causing injuries and even death. If you believe that you got injured in a funeral procession accident due to poor management, you may be eligible for compensation.
One thing you need to keep in mind is that funeral procession laws in Kissimmee and throughout Florida are complex. For this reason, it is important that you speak with an experienced car accident attorney specializing in these kinds of cases.
How an Attorney Can Help After a Funeral Procession Accident
Since funeral procession laws in Kissimmee and all over Florida are complicated, you need an attorney to examine these laws and identify possible loopholes. For example, in Florida, the parties involved in a funeral procession are protected against any liability during a car accident unless the other party can prove that they acted negligently.
But negligence is not always easy to prove, especially in such complex cases where the other party enjoys so much legal protection.
Speaking of the other party, Florida laws protect the:
- funeral establishment;
- funeral escort;
- funeral organizer; and
- funeral director.
But this does not mean that they are completely free from blame in the event of an accident. On the contrary, just as long as you can prove negligence or intent, you may have a case against them.
That's where an experienced car accident attorney specializing in funeral procession comes in. Such an attorney can help investigate the accident and identify the party responsible for your injuries or your loved one's death. You may be surprised to discover that more than one party is responsible for the injuries.
A seasoned attorney can also help calculate the damages caused by the accident. Such damages may include but are not limited to:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Cost of long-term or short-term care
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
And so much more.
Funeral procession accident claims usually involve a lot of paperwork and strict deadlines. A skilled funeral procession car accident attorney in Kissimmee can help you fill out the complex paperwork. In addition, they can file a claim against the negligent party on your behalf, giving you the chance to focus on recovering from the injuries sustained.
Your attorney will also negotiate a reasonable settlement for you based on your injuries. When you're nursing pain after an accident, the last thing you want is to deal with insurance companies directly. Since they know funeral procession drivers are protected by the law more than most drivers, insurance companies will try to find a reason to blame you for the accident. You do not have to go through all that frustration if you can hire an attorney to represent you.
If the insurance company is unwilling to settle, your attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf. And when the case goes to court, you will most likely recover more compensation than you would out of court. This is because court processes are expensive and require more legal resources, something your attorney will have access to.
Contact a Morgan & Morgan Funeral Procession Accident Attorney in Kissimmee, FL
Morgan & Morgan funeral procession accident attorneys can help you hold the negligent party liable for the accident, securing the compensation you need and deserve. Fill out our online case evaluation form or call our Kissimmee office at 407- 452-6990 to speak with one of our legal representatives.
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