Flagler Beach is a wonderful town. Incorporated in 1925 (just one year after Bunnell) it has a terrific history, a great museum, one of the most scenic piers in Florida, and wonderful bars and restaurants.
Being a very small city, with just under 5,000 residents, Flagler Beach does not have many attorneys specializing in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death. My firm, Palm Coast Injury Law, is based in Palm Coast, but I receive many calls from Flagler Beach residents on personal injury cases. I have helped a number of Flagler Beach residents win or settle cases to-date.
Among my favorite things in Flagler Beach is the fireworks during the 4th of July festivities. It brings big crowds into the town, which is good for tourism and dollars spent in Flagler Beach, but it creates serious traffic problems.
One of the major problems is due to lack of safe parking on A1A.
I know the city is trying to fix this problem by offering paid parking in Flagler Beach, but the residents do not like that idea.
On the 4th of July, thousands come from near and far – only to encounter the challenge that is Flagler Beach Parking. As a result, cars park along A1A on both sides of the street, and these cars make it difficult for drivers on side streets to see any oncoming traffic from A1A.
In fact, I recently met with a possible client who lives in Flagler Beach, who was involved in a traffic accident. I will tell you a little bit about this particular case, because it is related to the parking issues Flagler Beach experiences.
My client tried to pull out onto A1A during one of those high-traffic days when cars on A1A blocked his view.
He admittedly could not see if any cars were coming. He “took a chance.” He gambled and lost. He got hit by an oncoming car. His car was totaled and so was the other car. He was hurt and so was the other driver. He wanted to know if he had a claim against Flagler Beach.
What do you think?
Does he have a claim against the City of Flagler Beach, for cars parked alongside the A1A blocking his view to enter A1A, which he says what caused the accident?
If you answered “Yes” then I’m sorry – you guessed wrong.
Why? Simply because of the law of “comparative negligence.”
This is a law that makes the victim responsible for his own failure to use reasonable care. Everyone has a legal responsibility to safeguard their own body; which means that they cannot pull into traffic without looking both ways. Our moms taught us this when we were kids:
Don’t cross the street without looking both ways.
So I answered him by telling him that he was responsible for the crash, not Flagler Beach. Flagler Beach has no duty to protect him from himself. Cars parked legally on the side of A1A were clearly visible, and he knew he could not see oncoming traffic. It was unreasonable for him to take a chance with the assumption that no traffic was coming.
The oncoming driver was going the speed limit and had no duty to yield to him as he pulled out onto A1A. So, the only person at fault was him – therefore he had no case.
With that being said, not every person injured in an accident has a case. Careful review of the facts, and an honest client made it easy for me to give him legal advice. Granted, it wasn’t the answer he wanted, but it was the truth – more importantly, it was legal.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to Personal Injury Attorney Phil Chanfrau, if you need help with a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death claim in Flagler Beach and surrounding areas. I’m a phone call away: 386-445-7411, or simply fill out the following, and Phil will call you.