How Is Fault Determined In A Florida Car Accident?
Throughout Florida’s Suncoast, people operate motor vehicles for work and pleasure. Some commute to work, others deliver food or passengers to their destination, and some hop on a motorcycle or take the top down on a convertible to enjoy a leisurely drive.
With so many vehicles on the road for different reasons, however, accidents are bound to happen. And when they do, the first thing that most people will want to know is whether people involved are injured, followed by whether insurance will cover the damage. However, the consequences of both these events are directly tied to who is at fault for the accident and how that will play out based on what happened.
Fault Is Everything
In the aftermath of an accident, whether it is just a tiny “fender bender” in need of minor repairs or a major accident with injury or loss of life, fault needs to be determined. Fault is essential for two significant reasons. First, assigning responsibility means that the truth of the accident has been arrived at, and people have a clear understanding of what happened.
More crucially, however, the law now knows who caused the accident and can compel the responsible party to make things right. Usually, this means that a person’s insurance company will now be expected to pay for damage to vehicles and, if necessary, costs for medical treatment, or even financial compensation if for future lost wages if permanent injuries or death are involved.
Fault, in other words, means that whoever is responsible must pay for what’s been done to other people and property. Therefore, it is crucial to establish fault in a car accident.
How It Is Determined
Discovering who is at fault will always be thoroughly investigated by both the insurance companies representing the accident victims and the police who arrive at and manage the scene. However, certain events or actions may occur that can hasten the results and even encourage incorrect conclusions.
One such example is when a driver at the scene makes a verbal admission.
Even if it may not necessarily be accurate, a statement such as “I didn’t see you make that turn” is a confession of fault. If the other evidence is consistent with that admission, it may accelerate assigning blame to the person who said it. Of course, a later investigation may eventually uncover this wasn’t strictly the case. Still, any admission of fault will be given priority to prove or disprove.
Of course, the most important things are the facts themselves, and an accident will leave plenty of evidence as to what happened. Photos and videos will be shot at any accident scene, from the accident victims, witnesses, and police. These are crucial for preserving what is seen in the immediate aftermath, especially damage. Eyewitness accounts will also be taken and corroborated with other reports to see how accurate recollections are.
Finally, an accident scene investigation may be conducted. This includes analysis of the damage, speed, angle of impact, tire tracks on the road, and other items of physical evidence. These elements of the investigation are the most important. Unlike witness recollection which can be inaccurate, or accident victim testimony, which may be a lie, the physical evidence can only indicate what happened.
If you are a southwest Florida resident who has been injured in a car accident and someone else was at fault, you should not have to pay for your recovery. The party responsible for an injury should also be responsible for the recovery, and a court of law can ensure that this happens. Talk to an auto accident attorney to get the justice you deserve.