Car Accident Lawyer: How Do They Determine Fault?

If you were injured in a crash, you need to talk to a Miami car accident lawyer as soon as possible to start preparing your insurance claim. You are probably not aware of it, but your insurance company is already investigating the accident. And, most probably they are trying to find proofs that you were mostly at fault for the accident.

You may find it difficult to believe, since they are your own insurer. You are paying your premiums every month and strive to follow all their rules when you need to file a car accident claim. However, a Miami car accident lawyer knows that insurance companies care about their profits more than they care about their clients. This is why you will need legal representation if you want to receive a fair compensation for your damages.

Florida Is a No Fault State, but This Does Not Simplify a Car Accident Claim

In Florida, you do not have to prove the other driver’s fault and file a claim against their insurance policy. Instead, each driver involved in a car accident will file a claim with their respective insurance company and recover damages out of their own insurance coverage.

This would seem to make it easier to file a car accident claim and get your compensation money in a short time. However, despite the no-fault statute, Florida applies a comparative fault principle. This means that each driver’s percentage of fault must be determined. As a result of this determination, the total damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault.

And this is why you must let a Miami car accident lawyer negotiate your claim and determine your actual percentage of fault. Since it means paying less money, your insurer will try to increase your proportion of fault as much as they can.

Understanding Insurance Requirements for Florida Drivers

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles requires every driver to show proof of insurance before they register a vehicle. The minimum coverage is:

  • $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
  • $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL).

There is no requirement for bodily insurance liability, unless the vehicle is registered as a taxi. Also, drivers with a DUI conviction must also carry bodily insurance liability. The minimum values for this type of coverage are:

  • $125,000 per person
  • $250,000 per accident
  • $50,000 for property damage.

As you can see, in most of the cases, you do not have a lot of insurance coverage available if you carry the minimum mandatory coverage. If the insurer reduces this amount by a significant percentage of fault, then you won’t stand to recover a lot of money. This is why you will need an experienced Miami car accident lawyer to protect your rights.

What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do in Determining Your Fault?

Most car accident cases can turn into a debate where both drivers point the finger at each other in determining fault. However, when a Miami car accident lawyer gets involved, this debate turns to credible arguments based on evidence.

The most relevant types of evidence a lawyer relies on in determining fault are:

1. The Police Report Prepared at the Accident Scene

Any accident resulting in injury and property damage must be reported to the police. A law enforcement team will arrive at the crash scene to investigate it. Therefore, you must remember the following:

  • Do not leave the accident scene before the police tells you that you can do so
  • Do not move your vehicle
  • Tell the police how the accident happened, but do not admit fault or issue opinions as to the cause of the crash.

2. The Photos and Videos You Took at the Accident Scene

Although the police officers will do a thorough job, you must not rely only on the accident report. You should collect your own evidence, in the form of photos and videos of:

  • Your injuries
  • Your damaged vehicle
  • The position of both vehicles immediately after the crash
  • Skid marks, potholes or debris in the road, and any other significant details.

If necessary, a Miami car accident lawyer will hire accident reconstruction experts to recreate the accident based on these images, the police report and your statement.

3. Proofs that the Driver Was Distracted

Texting and driving is the most common form of distracted driving. If you believe that you saw the other driver using their mobile phone at the moment of the crash, your lawyer can obtain a detailed log from their mobile carrier. The log will clearly indicate that, at the moment of the accident, the driver was sending a text or chatting.

4. Eyewitness Statements

Most car accidents take place in crowded urban areas. Thus, most certainly the crash was seen by several people. Some of them may even take photos and videos of the accident. These types of physical evidence plus their eyewitness statements are invaluable for a Miami car accident lawyer.

There is no possibility for them to be lying in your favor. Thus, the other driver’s fault can be clearly determined.

5. CCTV Camera Footage

Finally, a lawyer will inspect the accident scene in order to identify any CCTV cameras which may have recorded your accident. These recordings can be easily obtained, either from businesses or private individuals, as most people are willing to help an accident victim prove their case.

Let Our Car Accident Law Firm Prove Your Actual Proportion of Fault

At Miami Lawyers 360, our goal is to help accident victims get a fair compensatory amount from their insurer. We know that insurance companies are not forthcoming in helping people settle their case for a fair amount. This is why you need to let a Miami car accident lawyer prepare and negotiate your claim.

No matter what an insurance adjuster may say, come to us to find out how much you can recover. We offer you a free case review and, if we decide to take your case, we won’t charge fees until we win your settlement amount. Call us as soon as possible after your accident to schedule your free initial consultation: 786-686-2857!

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