fault accident attorney

Auto Accident Liabilities: Finding Who Is At Fault

Accidents happen every day. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 6,452,000 police-reported accidents in one recent year. That’s an AVERAGE of over 17,000 accidents per day! Thankfully, a great deal of these are minor accidents. Regardless of the severity of the accident, there is one critical factor that all insurance companies will want to know:  Who is at fault?

 


Determining liability in a car accident—whether pursued through the insurance company’s claim process or through a personal injury lawsuit—will only be paid out if the injured plaintiff can prove negligence.
There are times when the blame is clear, such as in most rear-end accidents. However, there are other times when there is more than one individual at fault.

 


 

Here is a look at some common car accident scenarios and the process of evaluation that goes into determining fault.

 

  1. Left-turn Accidents

    Left-turn accidents occur when one vehicle is going straight through the intersection while another car is making a left turn and collides into the side of the straight-moving vehicle. Like rear-end accidents, liability is generally easy to determine. Left-turning vehicles have a lower priority in this scenario, meaning that—unless there is a green arrow—they must yield to those moving straight through the intersection. A study from the federal government discovered that the left-turning driver most often committed a critical error, such as “turning with an obstructed view,” “misjudgment of gap or speed,” “inadequate surveillance,” or “false assumption of the other driver’s intentions.”These are all errors that place liability for an accident at the hands of the left-turning driver.

    Are there ever cases where the other driver is at fault, though?

    Yes. While rare, the driver of the straight-moving car may incur some liability for an accident. One such circumstance is in the case of an accident in which the driver of the straight moving car was traveling at a speed far in excess of the speed limit, making it impossible for the turning driver to either see him or her in time or to calculate how much time he or she has to complete the turn.

  2. T-Bone Accidents

    In a collision where one vehicle rear-ends another, the driver of the trailing vehicle is at fault far more often than the leading vehicle. Lawyers will look for signs of distraction, speeding, and following too close on the part of the trailing driver, while also keeping in mind that the lead driver could share blame. Mechanical failure can also contribute to these accidents, so lawyers will pay attention to any signs of a defective part.

    Typically, in a T-bone accident, one vehicle comes flying through an intersection without stopping. The driver might miss the presence of a stop sign or fail to notice that a light turned red. Drunk driving or distracted driving can increase the risk of a T-bone accident. Usually, in these scenarios, you might assume the driver who struck the side door of a vehicle bears liability for the accident. However, you should ask several questions to help determine liability in this scenario.Auto Accident Liabilities: Finding Who Is At Fault 1 No-Fault Laws South Florida Injury Law Firm

  3. Running The Light

    Which driver ran the light? In an intersection with a red light, consider which driver ignored traffic laws and came through the intersection without stopping for a red light. Usually, other drivers can easily confirm which driver ignored the light.Which driver ignored a stop sign? In an accident at an intersection with a stop sign, the driver responsible for the accident may have failed to stop for the stop sign or came through the intersection after another driver had already started progressing through the intersection.

    Were both drivers moving at the time of the accident?

    Sometimes, in a T-bone accident, one driver might strike another, stationary vehicle. Sometimes, a car might stall in the middle of the intersection or get stuck due to traffic. While drivers should try to avoid sitting in an intersection, sometimes, circumstances make it impossible to avoid it completely. If one vehicle had to stop, and another one strikes it in the side, the driver who moved after the other vehicle stopped bears liability for the accident.

  4. Head-on Collisions

    Perhaps one of the most deadly types of accidents is a head-on collision. Sometimes referred to as a frontal crash, this type of accident occurs when two vehicles strike one another while traveling in opposite directions. When the fronts of two vehicles collide, it is often at high speed.Survival may depend upon the stretch of road, the reaction time of one or both drivers, and the type of vehicles involved. With the front end of the car receiving the brunt of the impact, larger and heavier vehicles protect occupants better than smaller, lightweight cars.

    Consider the weights of the following vehicles and the force of the impact when they meet, head-on, at high speeds:
    Car (SUV): 3,778 pounds
    Pickup truck: 5,217 pounds
    Minivan: 4,485 pounds

  5. Single-Car Accidents

    Single-car accidents occur when a motorist loses control of a vehicle rolls over, drives off the road, or collides with a stationary object. On the surface, one might assume single-car accidents are always the fault of the driver. But that isn’t the case. Drivers in single-car accidents too-often blame themselves for a crash. In fact, as often as not, fault for single-car accidents lies elsewhere.To begin, even without a collision there can still be another motorist who causes a single-car accident. Take, for example, the common scenario in which a car swerves and crashes into a tree or road barrier in reaction to erratic driving by a second vehicle that goes unharmed. In that case, the driver of the second vehicle has fault, even though he wasn’t technically involved in the accident.

Similar to other scenarios above, automotive manufacturers and municipal road contractors may also have fault for single car accidents if their actions create unsafe conditions leading to a crash. Another party who could have fault for a single-vehicle accident is a drug manufacturer, if it markets a medication with dangerous side-effects without warning about them, leading a driver to fall asleep or to become disoriented behind the wheel.

 

 


What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident

The most important step immediately after a car accident is to seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine, accept transport to the nearest hospital. Internal injuries are often invisible to the naked eye while causing serious harm to your organs. Only a medical professional can determine the true extent of your injuries.

Do provide as much information as you can to law enforcement. If possible, take pictures of the accident scene and if you are too injured to do so, ask a witness to take them for you. Collect the contact information for witnesses and most importantly, try to remain calm. Do not approach or talk to the other driver.

 


 

How a Florida Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You Fight Back

 

As we said at the outset, fault forms the core of the inquiry into who has legal liability for a car accident and the damage it inflicts on innocent victims. Accordingly, lawyers, insurance adjusters, judges, and juries focus a significant amount of effort on determining fault in car accident cases.

 

Finding fault means investigating facts in detail. An attorney representing a client injured in a car accident will usually try to collect as much evidence as possible about the accident, and then (sometimes with the help of forensic experts) will piece that evidence together to form a picture of whose actions led to the collision or accident. In performing this task, lawyers pursue the facts as far as they go until there is no longer a provable, reasonably foreseeable connection between someone’s actions and the accident and injuries.

The more time and information you can provide to your lawyer to do this work, the better your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve. Once fault has been determined, a personal injury attorney can help you file a personal injury lawsuit and fair compensation.

 

firm-attorneys-injuyr law

 

A skilled Florida personal injury attorney can ease your burden in dealing with all of this and help you fight to get the compensation you deserve. Reach out today for a free case review. We will look over the details of your situation and let you know what options are available to you.

 

 

When your life has been turned upside down due to another’s negligence and you are drowning in bills and struggling to recover, you want to make sure you work with the best law firm you can find.

 

What is the difference between a high-quality injury firm and one that will only do the bare minimum?

The people who work there. That is why The South Florida Injury Law Firm is made up of some of the most well-respected and successful injury attorneys around.

Our lawyers have more than 60 years of combined injury law experience, and they have handled just about every type of Florida injury case you can imagine. They are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an elite group of attorneys who have helped settle injury cases worth more than a million dollars. They have been named to Florida Trend’s Legal Elite. They are recognized by the Florida Worker’s Advocates group.

Perhaps even more importantly, they have received glowing reviews from clients – and they get results.

spring break car accident tips

Tips To Protect Yourself From A Spring Break Accident in South Florida

 

Every year between late February and early April, traffic fatalities rise in certain areas of the country.

Why? What’s happening?

 

Two words: spring break.

 

Those findings are from a new study that illustrates the spike in deadly auto accidents specific to “spring break destinations.

 

  • Traffic fatality rates in these areas during this time rise significantly for
    • Drivers under the age of 25
    • Among those who travel from other states
  • No increases are noted for areas that are not destinations for spring break

 


 

Below, we’re going to detail how Florida personal injury claims work if you are hurt in a spring break car crash.

 

Filing a Florida Claim after a Spring Break Car Crash

 

If you’re injured in an auto accident, the first thing you need to do isn’t file a claim, but seek medical care. Not only is this a good way to make sure your injuries get taken care of and that you aren’t hurt more than you realize, it increases your chances of winning compensation as well.

Your medical record will be a key piece of evidence in proving that the crash caused your injuries and that you deserve compensation for your medical expenses.

Next, your best course of action is to consult with a knowledgeable Florida injury attorney. He or she will be able to evaluate your case, and will make sure that you adhere to and understand the process.

 

Some important things to know:

 

  • Florida’s Injury Statute of Limitations.
    Under Florida law, you must file an injury lawsuit no more than four years from the date of the accident. File outside of that timeline and your case will likely be dismissed.
  • Florida’s Pure Comparative Negligence Rule.
    When discussing your possible compensation amounts with a personal injury lawyer, it’s important to know that the amount may be adjusted according to the pure comparative negligence rule. This rule says that winning plaintiffs will receive compensation for their injuries according to their percentage of fault in the accident.

 

Filing a Florida Claim after a Spring Break Car Crash

 

For example, if a drunk driver hit you and caused your injuries, but you were speeding at the time of the accident, the court may determine that you are 30 percent at fault for the accident. This means that any compensation you receive will only be 70 percent of the awarded total. If your total award is $100,000, you will be eligible to receive $70,000 due to the 30 percent reduction under the pure comparative negligence rule.

 

  • Florida’s No-Fault Car Insurance Law.
    In the majority of traffic accidents, each driver’s insurance company will be responsible for up to $10,000 in various expenses like medical bills and lost income – no matter who is at fault for the accident.

 

It is only when serious injuries occur that you can sue for additional damages. The requirements include the following types of injuries resulting from a car crash:

 

  • Significant or permanent bodily function loss
  • Significant or permanent disfigurement or scarring
  • Permanent injury

 

A skilled attorney will know if your injuries meet the serious injury threshold, and therefore will be eligible for greater compensation.

 

  • Damage Limits in Florida Personal Injury Lawsuits.
    In car accident lawsuits, Florida courts set limits on the amount that can be compensated for punitive damages, which often apply to non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

 

You can file for the greater of either triple the amount of damages or $500,000. This normally applies only to extreme cases where the behavior of the driver was exceptionally reckless or dangerous.

 

How a Florida Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You Fight Back

 

If you are hurt in a Florida spring break car crash due to another’s negligence, you shouldn’t be stuck with all the bills for a serious injury. Unfortunately, dealing with insurance companies is often a tough challenge, and you have additional hurdles if you were injured on a visit to Florida as so many spring breakers are.

 

firm-attorneys-injuyr law

 

A skilled Florida personal injury attorney can ease your burden in dealing with all of this and help you fight to get the compensation you deserve. Reach out today for a free case review. We will look over the details of your situation and let you know what options are available to you.

 

 

When your life has been turned upside down due to another’s negligence and you are drowning in bills and struggling to recover, you want to make sure you work with the best law firm you can find.

What is the difference between a high-quality injury firm and one that will only do the bare minimum? The people who work there. That is why The South Florida Injury Law Firm is made up of some of the most well-respected and successful injury attorneys around.

Our lawyers have more than 60 years of combined injury law experience, and they have handled just about every type of Florida injury case you can imagine. They are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an elite group of attorneys who have helped settle injury cases worth more than a million dollars. They have been named to Florida Trend’s Legal Elite. They are recognized by the Florida Worker’s Advocates group.

Perhaps even more importantly, they have received glowing reviews from clients – and they get results.

 

 

 

What Do Florida’s No-Fault Laws Mean for Victims

What Do Florida’s No-Fault Laws Mean for Victims?

What Do Florida’s No-Fault Laws Mean for Victims

 

You may have heard that Florida is a “no-fault” state and wondered what this phrase means. Understanding this concept is especially important for drivers who have been in an auto accident.

 

Here’s how it works. In no-fault states, drivers must purchase insurance policies with a minimum of $10,000 PIP (personal injury protection) benefits. The policy must also have a $10,000 no-fault PDL, or Property Damage Liability, that covers medical, surgical, and funeral costs.

 

What No-Fault Insurance Covers

 

Under Florida statutes, no-fault laws require insurance to cover some or all of the cost of your auto accident—regardless of who was at fault. Insurance companies are required to pay 80% of your reasonable medical expenses, and 60% of your lost earnings. These payments are subject to the limits of your coverage and any relevant deductible.

 

If you are killed in an accident, no-fault insurance will pay survivor’s benefits to your family. This covers the amount of income you would have provided your family. There are certain limits to what the company will pay—usually a set amount of money for a finite period. The coverage not only applies to accidents that happen in Florida, but wherever you are. If you get into an accident on the other side of the country, your insurance will pay these benefits.

 

No-fault insurance also covers a specified limit of damages done to other people’s tangible property. For example, if you hit a parked car, tree, or mailbox, your insurance would cover at least a portion of these costs.

 

What Isn’t Covered By No-Fault Insurance

 

Boca Raton Car Accident Lawyer

 

Of course, there are limits to the coverage of no-fault insurance laws, and it’s important for Florida drivers to be aware of what their insurance will not cover.

 

In general, no-fault insurance does not cover the cost of repairs for your vehicle, nor does it cover anyone else’s vehicle that was damaged in the accident (unless the vehicle was properly parked). This is true for everyone involved, regardless of who was responsible for the accident. It also usually does not cover stolen vehicles.

 

Another important restriction to note is a recent amendment to the no-fault law. Under these changes, you must see a doctor within 14 days of the accident for injuries you sustained to be covered by your no-fault insurance.

 

No Fault-Laws and Personal Injury Claims

 

West Palm Beach Auto Accident Attorney

 

One of the most important elements of Florida’s no-fault laws is the impact it has on personal injury suits. In order for a suit to be filed against the driver responsible for the accident, Florida’s no-fault insurance law requires that you demonstrate you sustained a “serious” injury.

 

In Florida, the victim must show a sustained permanent injury for it to be considered serious.

This also includes significant scarring, disfigurement, or death. If these conditions are not met, a personal injury suit cannot be filed for an injury sustained in a car accident. The terminology of these conditions is somewhat vague, allowing for some negotiation in your claim.

 

Though in most instances you will be able to file a personal injury suit against the driver at fault, there are other parties that can be held liable for an accident.

 

Occasionally, an accident isn’t caused by a driver, but by the past negligence of an unrelated party. For example, car companies and manufactures sometimes are responsible for injuries sustained due to design flaws. In other cases, particular component of the car can be responsible, as was the case during the 2000 Firestone tire controversy. Companies aren’t the only parties that can be held accountable with lawsuits for the role they may have played in an accident. A car accident may be the fault of a negligent mechanic.

 

Even various factors of the road itself can be responsible for a car accident. For example, poor maintenance of roadways, or malfunctioning traffic signals can make the road a more dangerous place for drivers.  Other serious accidents might be caused by improper design, construction, or signage. There may be inadequate light for cars to navigate certain areas safely. Or there may be obstructions in the roadway, hampering the driver’s visibility and causing severe accidents.

 

In some of the above cases, the contractors responsible for constructing and maintaining the public roadways can be held liable for accidents caused by negligence. You may even be able to bring a suit against the state or municipality.

 

If you or someone you love has been severely injured in auto accident, or if you aren’t sure whether your insurance will cover the extent of your injuries, we would like to hear from you. Our firm provides expert legal counsel and representation—get in touch today.