If you have been in a car accident, insurance companies will often try to argue that you were partially responsible in order to reduce your compensation or even avoid paying you. A recent change in Florida law now bars you from collecting damages if you are more than 50% at fault for a wreck.
If the insurance company tries to shift the blame onto you, having a skilled Miami Beach car accident attorney on your side is critical. We will aggressively stand up for you and demand the compensation you deserve.
Florida’s Modified Comparative Negligence Law
In a significant move, Florida adopted a new comparative negligence law in March 2023. With the old law, even if you were 90% at fault, you could still seek 10% of your damages. Under the new law, you can only recover compensation if you are less than 50% at fault for an accident.
Thus, insurers are likely to become even more aggressive in attempting to discredit your version of events and prove that you were at fault. You need an experienced Miami Beach car accident lawyer on your side from the very beginning.
We won’t let an adjuster intimidate or bully you into accepting blame for an accident that wasn’t entirely (or even partially) your fault. Instead, we will work diligently to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Here are the steps you need to take to protect your chances of obtaining compensation.
1. Obtain the Accident Report from the Police
When you’re involved in a car accident, one of the most important steps to take is obtaining the accident report prepared by the police. This report contains crucial information about the incident that can help determine fault and insurance liability.
To obtain a copy of the accident report, you’ll need to contact the local law enforcement agency that responded to your accident. The process may vary depending on where the accident occurred, but typically you can request a copy online, by mail, or in person.
Having this official document is essential to dispute fault in a car accident. It provides an unbiased account of what happened and includes details such as statements from drivers and witnesses, diagrams of the scene, and any citations issued.
2. Take Photos and Videos of the Accident Scene
One of the most crucial steps to dispute fault in a car accident is to gather strong evidence. As soon as it is safe to do so after the crash, take out your phone or camera and start snapping pictures from various angles.
Capture any visible damage to both vehicles involved, including dents, scratches, and broken parts. Don’t forget to photograph skid marks on the road or any other relevant details that can help reconstruct the accident.
In addition to photos, recording videos can provide even more valuable evidence. Walk around the scene while filming, paying attention to road conditions, traffic signs, and signals. If possible, capture statements from witnesses who may be willing to testify about what they saw during the accident.
3. Avoid Private Negotiations with the Other Driver
After a car accident, it can be tempting to try and resolve the situation quickly by negotiating privately with the other driver. However, you must refrain from doing so. Here are some reasons against it:
First of all, a driver who wants to settle the matter privately will also persuade you not to report the accident to the police. This is against the law in Florida and will hurt your chances of any recovery later on.
Secondly, when you negotiate privately with the other driver, there is no official record of your discussions or agreements. This means that if they later change their story or deny any responsibility for the accident, it will be difficult to prove what was said during your private negotiation.
Finally, without legal representation or guidance from an experienced Miami Beach car crash attorney, you will most likely accept an amount of money that is far below what you deserve for medical expenses, property damage repairs, and lost wages.
4. Collect Eyewitness Contact Info
Eyewitnesses can play a crucial role when you need to dispute a car accident fault. When it comes to determining liability, their testimony can provide valuable insight into what actually happened at the scene of the accident. That’s why it’s important to gather contact information from any witnesses who were present.
After an accident, take a moment to approach anyone who may have seen what occurred. Politely ask if they would be willing to provide their name and phone number as potential witnesses. It’s also helpful to jot down a brief description of what they saw or heard.
Remember, memories fade over time, so it’s crucial to obtain this information as soon as possible after the accident. Even if you initially think there is no need for witness statements, circumstances may change later on during negotiations or legal proceedings.
5. Consult a Skilled Miami Beach Car Crash Attorney
In any car accident case, disputing fault can be a challenging and complex process. However, with the right approach and assistance, you can navigate through this difficult situation successfully.
That’s why it is crucial to seek help from an experienced Miami Beach injury lawyer. They have in-depth knowledge of the law and can guide you through the legal process involved in disputing fault. From gathering evidence to presenting your case effectively, they will work tirelessly to protect your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Don’t face the aftermath of a car accident alone. Call us today at (786) 686-2857 to schedule a free case review!