How Do You Determine Who Is at Fault in a Florida Car Accident?

All drivers are responsible for driving in a safe, careful manner. Unfortunately, accidents still happen—and a significant portion of those accidents are caused by drivers who are not piloting their vehicles safely. If you have been injured in an accident with another driver, you may be entitled to compensation. However, the exact nature of the accident will determine who is liable and how much you may be entitled to recover.

Some situations, such as a driver rear-ending another car at a red light, are fairly straightforward. Others, like a driver being hit while breaking traffic laws, are less simple. But regardless of the details of a Florida car accident, the concept of fault plays an important role in determining how much compensation you may be able to recover. Depending on where the responsibility for an accident falls, you may be entitled to less or more damages. 

A Florida car accident lawyer can simplify your situation by reviewing the details of your case and working to recover compensation on your behalf. For some background information, we’ve put together a helpful primer on how fault affects car accident cases and how the at-fault party is determined.

Florida’s No-Fault and Comparative Fault Systems

Florida is a no-fault state, meaning that all drivers are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. This covers up to $10,000 in lost wages, medical bills, etc. for an injury case. However, severe or lasting injuries may end up costing more than that sum. In that case, medical bills that exceed the no-fault limit may be paid by your health insurance or the at-fault party’s bodily injury or your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

To make a legal claim for damages as a result of a car accident, you’ll need to be able to prove that the other driver owed you a duty of care that they then breached, that this breach caused the accident, and that you suffered real damage or harm. 

However, Florida is also a comparative fault state. What that means is that if you are in any way partially responsible for the accident, your recovery of damages will be reduced by a corresponding percentage. For example, if you are found to be 20 percent responsible for a collision, you will only be able to secure 80 percent of your total damages.

How Do You Prove Fault in a Car Accident?

If you are injured in a car accident, your first move should be to seek medical care. After that, there are a number of steps you can take to preserve the details of your accident and prove where the fault lies. And if you do happen to be partially responsible or fully responsible, cooperate with the investigation and seek legal representation as soon as possible.

Call the Police

You may feel fine after a vehicle collision, and you might consider the damage to your vehicle minimal. But it’s possible that you won’t feel the effects of the accident until much later, when you develop health complications or your car breaks down. Contacting the police will ensure that a police report is created, documenting the details of the accident (such as whether the other driver was breaking traffic laws). Additionally, you should consider seeking medical attention even if you feel fine—and be sure to note any injuries, no matter how minimal they may appear at first glance.

Document the Scene of the Accident

Whatever you do, be sure to take pictures of the scene of the car accident, along with the surrounding area. Photographic evidence is helpful for determining the extent of the damage to both vehicles and confirming the nature of the accident.

Get Witness Contact Information

Witness testimony can prove invaluable in recreating the timeline of an accident and confirming your own statement, so be sure to collect the contact information of anyone at the scene, if possible. The police report should also include any relevant witnesses, so be sure to obtain a copy.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Florida

Florida’s legal system is complex, and that’s not even mentioning the vast insurance system you’ll also need to navigate while seeking compensation. To make the process as straightforward as possible, you should reach out to a Florida car accident lawyer. Having experienced legal representation on your side will give you the best chance of presenting a strong personal injury claim and securing compensation.

At Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., we’ll help you seek damages after a car accident by investigating your case from all angles. We look at all of the evidence and pertinent details of a case, from medical information that can help us determine the cost of future medical bills to witness accounts that can confirm the at-fault driver.

Get an Experienced Florida Car Accident Lawyer on Your Side

Determining and proving fault in a car accident case can seem like a tall order. You may be dealing with lasting injuries or trying to untangle the complex chain of events that led to the accident in the first place. The good news is that you don’t have to struggle through this process alone. A Florida auto accident lawyer can champion your personal injury claim and get you the compensation to which you are entitled. 

Don’t wait to seek legal representation—if you’ve been in an auto accident, reach out as soon as possible. The attorneys at Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., will handle your case with professionalism, care, and dedication. Contact us today for a free consultation.