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Determining Fault After a Car Accident in Florida

Scott McCullough Sept. 1, 2019

If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you’ve most likely heard the question “Who was at fault?” When it comes to car accidents, who is at fault is a big deal because, many times, fault determines who pays for the damages from the accident. However, every state has its own laws regarding car accidents and what it means to be at-fault. Therefore, before you jump to conclusions and start calling the other party’s insurance company, it’s extremely important to understand how fault is determined in your state.

Here, we will discuss steps to determine fault in the state of Florida.

File a Police Report

To determine who is at fault following a car accident, the first thing you need to do is contact the authorities. In Florida, you have 10 days to report an accident and file an official report; however, it’s best to file a police report as soon as possible. Filing a police report immediately following a car accident increases the likelihood of gathering accurate information and determining fault accurately.

When you file a police report, one rule of thumb is to never admit fault before you talk to your lawyer. If you assume an accident was your fault (even if it wasn’t) and admit it to authorities, you’re immediately deemed the responsible party. Therefore, it’s always best to allow police to do their investigative duties and come to their own conclusions regarding the fault of the accident.

Gather Evidence After an Accident

Although it’s important to let accident investigators do their work, you can also do your part when it comes to gathering evidence. Gathering the names and contact information of eye-witnesses is an ideal place to start. Eyewitness accounts go a long way in determining fault because, most often, eyewitness accounts are more credible than driver statements because there’s no bias involved.

In addition to gathering eye-witness information, taking pictures of your vehicle, the scene of the accident, and the other vehicle is also extremely beneficial. Photographs help determine fault because they can be analyzed to determine the angle and speed of impact.

Understand State Car Accident Laws

Understanding car accident laws is of the utmost importance because if you want to determine fault, you first need to understand what fault means. Who is at fault for a car accident has different implications in every state. The State of Florida, for example, follows Pure Comparative Fault laws. Under Pure Comparative Fault, it’s rare for one party to be found 100% at fault. Instead, each party is responsible for a percentage of the accident and, therefore, a percentage of the damages.

Knowledgeable Car Accident Attorneys in South Florida

Have you been involved in a car accident in South Florida and aren’t sure what to do next? No need to worry anymore – the attorneys at The Law Offices of McCullough and Leboff P.A. are here for you! The trusted lawyers at our firm have more than 48 years of experience pursuing car accident cases in and around Davie, Florida and want to help you as well! Our lawyers are members of the American Bar Association and the Florida Justice Association

To schedule a free consultation to discuss your car accident, call our office or contact us online today!