If you live in the greater Fort Lauderdale area or have an automobile accident while passing through or visiting the area, you need to know how to determine fault. That is key to recovering damages in any automobile accident. Determining fault involves knowledge of the facts. You are the main person to find out what happened, assuming you are not so badly injured that you cannot do so. Take photographs of all the damaged vehicles, of the road conditions, and anything else that could even remotely be of importance. Find out what law enforcement agency investigated the accident, and get a copy of the report.
Who’s Fault Is The Auto Accident?
Fault is the key to a recovery. Fault involves proving the other party was negligent. Here are some examples of negligence and fault in Fort Lauderdale. Fault and negligence are just two words with the same meaning in the context of an automobile accident.
- Excess Speed
- Reckless Driving
- Running A Red Light
- Driving Under The Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
- Failure to Yield the Right of Way
- Failure to Stop and Rear Ending Another Vehicle
This is not a comprehensive list. For example, it could be that fault lies with a governmental agency. This could occur if there was some defect with the road or signage that caused the accident. Improper road signs might lead a driver to not understand how traffic flows. That misunderstanding would then translate into fault for both the driver and the city or state, depending on who maintains the roadway. Any defect in highway construction can be considered negligence. There are strict rules about filing a claim against a governmental agency, so seek legal assistance as soon as possible.
An injured party is always going to try to find as many parties as possible to claim fault. A passenger will pursue both the other driver and the driver of the car in which he or she was riding. That way one of the parties has to be at fault. The passenger can rarely be at fault.
Proving Fault Or Negligence
Each of these items listed above requires proof. Such proof can be provided by the injured party, by law enforcement officers, by eye witnesses, or through accident reconstruction. They can also be proved through the use of the photographs mentioned above. A combination of all these factors might have to be employed to prove fault. In any event, you can never have too much proof. The idea is to convince the injured party and their insurance company that contesting negligence is not a reasonable course of action. It would be great if the negligent party admitted to someone that they ran a red light and struck the injured party’s vehicle. That will not always happen. In fact, it is probably unlikely. Most people will deny liability even if it is clear. Insurance companies are different. If fault and negligence are clear, they will admit liability. That does not mean a case will be settled easily as there is always the problem of damages.
No Fault Insurance And Other Insurance Considerations
The State of Florida requires no-fault insurance. An injured driver can recover from his own insurance company as long as he has the mandatory personal injury protection. This can be in addition to the insurance coverage of the other driver who is found to be negligent and at fault. If the at fault driver did not have insurance, you can claim against your uninsured insurance protection if you carry that coverage. It is good idea to have that option.
Insurance considerations can be complicated. A motorist should carry all the coverage that is available to provide protection in any situation. Pursuing the other driver and proving fault can be a lengthy process. Any quick payments from your own policy is just a bonus.
In most cases it is a good idea to hire an attorney in a personal injury case. An experienced lawyer can identify fault and negligence, know what it takes to prove a case, and understands how insurance in the State of Florida works. They also know all the statute of limitations so your claim is preserved. There is a reason that lawyers who handle personal injury cases know what to do. Their experience is a main reason you seek their advice and let them take your case. They will avoid a simple mistake that could prevent you from recovering what you are entitled to receive.
Call Fenster & Cohen today at 954-473-1500