How is Fault Determined for a Car Accident?

Were you recently injured in a car accident? If so, you’ll need to first file a no-fault claim with your insurance company to get compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other economic damages.

However, if you were seriously injured, you may be able to step outside the no-fault system to file a third-party claim against the negligent driver. Contact us today with any questions or concerns you may have with your car accident case.

Continue reading to learn how our lawyers can help determine fault in Florida car accident claims.

HOW DOES INSURANCE WORK IN A NO-FAULT STATE?

Regardless of who was at fault for the car accident, you’ll be able to get economic damages from your auto insurance company through your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Under Florida law, drivers are required to carry at least $10,000 in PIP insurance. PIP insurance covers your medical bills, lost wages, and other economic damages following a car accident.

Since Florida is a no-fault car insurance state, you won’t be able to bring a lawsuit against a negligent driver unless your case meets certain conditions. Typically, you’re only able to step outside the no-fault system if the other driver’s negligent actions caused serious injury, disfigurement, or disability.

Our car accident attorneys can help you determine whether you’ll be able to file a third-party claim. While a no-fault claim only covers economic damages, a third-party claim allows you to get non-economic damages such as those for pain and suffering.

WHAT IS MEANT BY COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE?

Florida is a comparative negligence state, which means you can still seek damages from the at-fault driver if you were partially responsible for the car accident. However, the amount of damages you receive will be reduced by the percentage you’re found at fault for the collision. For example, a car accident claim worth $100,000 would be reduced to $80,000 if you were found to be 20% responsible.

HOW CAN I PROVE THE OTHER DRIVER WAS AT FAULT?

If you meet the conditions for filing a third-party claim, you’ll need the help of one of our car accident lawyers to prove that the other driver was negligent. A car accident attorney from our personal injury law firm can help you prove that the at-fault driver violated their duty of care to operate their vehicle as a reasonable person would.

All drivers have a responsibility to drive safely by obeying traffic laws, not driving distracted, and not operating their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If a driver violates this duty of care, they can be found negligent and held responsible for your car accident injuries. Our car accident lawyers can help you gather evidence, such as witness statements, photos, videos, and the police report.

  • WITNESS STATEMENTS: Witnesses can help establish the facts of your case, from what the at-fault driver was doing to the road conditions the day of the accident. An auto accident attorney from our law firm will recommend you get the contact information of witnesses so they can be called later to give their statements. Write down the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of witnesses.
  • PHOTOS AND VIDEOS: Take photos of your car and the scene of the accident. Your claim will be stronger with visual evidence of the scene and property damage. If possible, our car accident lawyers will try to get footage from surveillance cameras or even witnesses.
  • POLICE REPORT: You have 10 days to report to the police a car accident that caused injury, death, and/or property damage of at least $500. However, you won’t have to report the car accident on your own if police responded to the scene and filed a report. A police report is one of the most crucial pieces of evidence a car accident attorney from our law firm needs to prove the validity of your claim.

REQUEST A CONSULTATION

Certain cases are easier to prove than others. For example, it’s much easier to prove that the other driver was at fault if they rear-ended your vehicle. However, it’s much more difficult to prove your case if both people are at fault. That’s why it’s important to hire an attorney as soon as possible if you were seriously injured in an auto accident.

Our car accident lawyers are proud to serve clients near Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and Naples. To request a consultation with one of our Florida car accident attorneys, call Lusk, Drasites, & Tolisano PA at (800) 283-7442.

This blog post has been updated.

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