When you are involved in a car accident in Miami, it is important to determine who is at fault. In single-vehicle crashes, the fault typically lies with the driver involved. However, in multi-vehicle crashes, one of the drivers is primarily responsible in most cases. It is only after the issue of fault is settled that you can seek damages for your crash-related losses with the help of a Miami car accident lawyer.
Florida is a no-fault state. This means that your first option for seeking compensation would be your own insurance company. You can seek damages for medical costs and lost wages under your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage after your car accident in Miami.
However, if your losses exceed $10,000 or if your injuries meet the threshold standard, you may be legally entitled to seek damages from the other driver. This is possible only if you can show that the other driver was at fault in causing the car accident in Miami. There are different factors that are used to prove the fault of a driver in a crash. Here is a look at these.
In most car crashes, a driver who is guilty of a traffic violation just before an accident is usually the one at fault. For instance, if a driver runs a red light and ends up colliding with a second vehicle, the driver who ran the light is very likely at fault.
Similarly, a driver who is traveling the wrong way in oncoming traffic and hits one or more vehicles will be held at fault for the car accident in Miami. Traffic violations are one of the many factors used to determine which driver was at fault in causing the crash.
The city, county, or state authorities typically respond to the scene of an accident. Once law enforcement personnel arrive on the crash scene, they speak to the parties involved, get witness statements, and review other on-site evidence. The officers finally write down a report which contains all the important details of the crash. The report may also point at the party whose fault caused the accident.
This police report is a central piece of evidence in determining who was at fault. Sometimes, the police report may not directly name the at-fault party but the overall facts and circumstances contained in the report may be very helpful in making that determination.
Vehicle damage is another vital consideration that is used in determining the at-fault party. For instance, if a vehicle has damage in the rear after being rear-ended by the driver behind, it is easier to show that the driver at the back was at fault.
Similarly, if a vehicle causes a T-bone crash after running a red light, the driver of this vehicle will be held at fault. For this reason, it is important to take photos and videos of any visible damage to the vehicles involved in an accident. This evidence is later used in determining which driver’s negligence caused the incident.
Multiple At-Fault Parties
It is not uncommon for several parties to be at fault in a Miami crash. Consider this example scenario: you are speeding well above the posted speed limit when a second driver runs a red light, causing a collision between the two vehicles.
Subsequent investigations would reveal that both you and the other driver were at fault in causing the accident. When this happens, the fault is distributed among all the negligent parties and Florida’s pure comparative negligence law applies.
Florida’s Pure Comparative Negligence Law
Florida uses a pure comparative negligence law when multiple parties are at fault in a personal injury case. This rule is defined in Florida Statutes Section 768.81.
Under the rule, the percentage of fault is distributed among all the negligent parties. You are then entitled to receive damages proportionate to your degree of fault.
For instance, if you are found 20% at fault and the other driver 80% at fault, you will receive 80% of the total amount of damages for which you are eligible. The rest of the 20% will be removed from your compensation as a penalty for your 20% fault.
Why Hire a Miami Car Accident Lawyer?
As noted above, several factors become involved in determining fault in a Miami car accident. This can complicate the matter and also impact the amount of damages you ultimately receive for your crash-related losses.
This is why it is important to hire a reliable car accident lawyer. Here at Englander Peebles, we have helped countless Miami car crash victims recover maximum compensation. Call us today to discuss your case with our lawyers.