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How Fault Is Determined In An Auto Accident

When you’re involved in an automobile accident, one of the primary things that authorities will try to establish early on will be fault. Figuring out who is to blame has a major impact on what insurance company is handling the damages as well as on other aspects of the next weeks and months. But for those who are injured in accidents caused by the reckless actions of others, seeking financial compensation may be something that needs to be done.

What Is Fault?

When determining whether or not you can seek financial compensation for your injuries, the first step an attorney will take is to figure out who is at fault. Under Florida law, fault in a personal injury case refers to determining whether or not one party acted in a negligent or reckless manner.

In an auto accident, reckless or negligent behavior could mean any number of things including:

  • Speeding

  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol

  • Failure to use turn signals

  • Failure to use headlights at night

  • Poor maintenance of the vehicle

That last point surprises many, but it’s worth pointing out that something like a failure to keep tires or brakes in good condition or even a failure to have work done on a recalled component of the vehicle could be considered neglectful behavior, and if it leads to an accident the person could be held responsible for the damages that occur.

In short, fault needs to be shown clearly by the side that is seeking compensation, and proving that reckless or negligent behavior was present is vital if one wishes to receive restitution for their injuries.

How Is Fault Proven?

So just how does a car crash lawyer go about proving that a party was to blame for an accident? There are several different methods that this is completed through. Some of the different ways that an attorney will work to show fault include the following.

  • Accident Reports – Reports filed by the police at the scene of an accident will often include a wide range of information that directly relates to showing who was at fault and what caused an accident to occur. They’ll lay the groundwork for determining who is responsible.

  • Witness Testimony – In some cases, witnesses may have seen the accident and if so, it’s common that their testimony or at least their statements will be used to make a determination of fault.

  • Black Box Data – Modern vehicles often have a black box data recorder in them similar to those on airplanes. These record things like speeds, turning and braking information, and more. They could be used to show reckless behavior.

  • Accident Reconstruction Experts – Insurance companies often use an accident reconstruction to show exactly what occurred. An attorney could use them as well, creating a detailed look at the accident and what caused it.

  • Film Footage – In some instances it may be possible to obtain video footage of the accident, whether from a dashboard camera or from a surveillance camera nearby. It’s not as commonly used as some of the other options above, but it is still a possibility.

In short, your attorney will use a wide range of different tools in order to show that the other party was at fault in an accident. Their experience and skill is why it’s so important to contact a professional. Showing fault otherwise isn’t always that easy to do.

If you’ve been involved in an accident recently and need assistance at getting financial compensation for your injuries, our team can help. With decades of experience and a proven track record of getting our clients the compensation that they deserve, our team of car crash attorneys are ready to make a difference in your life and get your finances back to where they should be. Contact us today to set up your consultation.