Who Does Florida’s Move Over Law Protect?

In the mid-1990s, states across the nation began to see an uptick in the number of roadside accidents. Many of these accidents involved those who operated emergency vehicles on the road’s edge, such as police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and tow truck drivers.

It was not until 2002 that Florida passed its first iteration of what has come to be known as the “Move Over” law. Since then, the law has undergone several amendments, and in its current form the law covers “emergency vehicles” and “wreckers.” Specifically, the law requires that all motorists traveling in the same direction of a stopped emergency vehicle “vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle,” as long as the road has two or more lanes. If an emergency vehicle or wrecker is stopped on a single-lane highway then passing motorists must slow down to a speed of 20 miles per hour under the posted speed limit or, if the speed limit is 25 miles per hour or less, to a speed of five miles per hour.

A violation of Florida’s move over law can result in a traffic citation. However, the import of Florida’s move over law does not stop there. It also makes recovery easier for those who have been injured after a motorist failed to comply with the move over law. If you have questions of this nature, reach out to a dedicated Florida motor vehicle accident attorney.

Proving Negligence in Cases Involving a Violation of the Law

A personal injury plaintiff bringing a claim of negligence must prove that the defendant violated a duty of care that was owed to the plaintiff, and that the defendant’s violation of this duty resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries. Thus, the four elements of a Florida negligence claim are duty, breach, causation, and damages.

If a defendant’s conduct violates a penal law, it can give rise to a finding of negligence per se. Negligence per se is a legal doctrine that allows for a personal injury plaintiff to more easily prove their claim if the defendant violated a penal statute. An example of this would be a Florida drunk driving accident. In such a case, the plaintiff would only need to establish that the defendant’s actions caused their injuries because the defendant will be found to have been negligent as a matter of law when he was found to have violated the drunk driving statute.

If a defendant violates a traffic law, negligence per se will not apply. However, the defendant’s violation of the traffic law will still be considered evidence of negligence. Thus, while the plaintiff will still need to prove all four elements of a negligence claim, the fact that the defendant was cited for a traffic infraction will provide some evidence that the defendant acted negligently.

Have You Been Injured in a Florida Traffic Accident?

If you or someone you care about has recently been injured in a Florida car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you have sustained. At the law firm of Frankl Kominsky, we represent injury victims in all types of Florida personal injury claims, including car accident claims. To learn more about how we can help you recover for your injuries, call 561-354-6184 to schedule a free consultation.

See Additional Blog Posts:

Florida Court Discusses “Open and Obvious” Doctrine in Recent Premises Liability Case, South Florida Injury Attorneys Blog, September 19, 2018.

Florida’s High Court Rejects Court-Imposed Cap on Wrongful Death Damages, South Florida Injury Attorneys Blog, October 17, 2018.

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