Determining fault in a car accident can be very tricky, as Florida is one of twelve “no-fault” states, but it is vital in making sure that you are compensated for your injuries. In order to ensure that you get all of the compensation you deserve and get back on your feet so you can resume your life, you need to prove that the other party was responsible for the accident. Then, you need to prove the amount of compensation you deserve.
Here is an overview of the process involved when determining fault in a Florida car accident. Determining the amount of compensation you deserve is covered in the article,Car Accident Damages that May be Available in Florida.
FLORIDA CAR ACCIDENT
The first thing it is important to understand is what a “no fault” state means. This term does not mean that nobody is responsible for an accident. The idea behind no fault insurance simply means that there is a threshold of damages that needs to be met before you can file suit. If you have been injured in a car accident, you will be able to sue, depending on the circumstances and determination of fault.
The first thing you need to do after an accident is make sure that there are no immediate, serious injuries. Call for medical attention and the police right away. Then note everything about the accident that you can. Speak to witnesses, take detailed notes and photos of the accident scene. Exchange contact information and insurance information with the other driver, and get the contact information of any witnesses.
If the police come to the scene, ask for a copy of the police report. Keep track of any and all medical bills you have that are related to the accident, from basic doctor’s visits to prescriptions and rehabilitation. The more information you have, the better able you will be to demonstrate fault when the time comes. Finally, never, ever apologize for anything at the scene—this could be construed in court as admission of guilt or fault.
GETTING HELP FROM AN ATTORNEY
As soon as possible, get seen by a doctor (even if you don’t feel injured) and report the accident to your insurance company. Many times pain and injuries will not be noticed days. If you do not seek medical attention right away the insurance companies will be skeptical of your pain and injuries.
Be honest and forthright, but don’t admit fault or guilt. Then, immediately seek the services of a qualified Florida personal injury attorney. Never sign anything before talking to a lawyer. The laws involving personal injury are complex with many missteps possible.
You want to make sure that when the insurance companies try to convince you to sign away your rights, someone is there to fight for your interests. A personal injury attorney has the knowledge and experience to fight insurance company bullying tactics and make sure that you are compensated for loss of income, medical expenses, pain and suffering and all of the various awards to which you are entitled.
If you have been in a car accident in Florida and need representation, we are here to help. Give us a call or email us for more information and a free, no-obligation consultation on your case today.