A car accident can create havoc in your life when you least expect it. An injured party may believe that another motorist’s carelessness or wrongdoing caused the accident. In such cases, the law gives people the right to file a civil suit against those who behave negligently to recover compensation for various damages. Success in such legal endeavors ultimately depends on proving fault.
While Florida is a “no-fault” car insurance state, you may be able to pursue a third-party liability claim against the negligent person who caused your car accident if your injuries qualify as “serious” in accordance with state law.
This means that you must have suffered a permanent injury, a substantial or permanent scar, or death. You must also prove that the other driver’s negligence was the direct and proximate cause of your injuries.
In the aftermath of a serious accident, if you are not sure whether you meet the requirements for a serious injury, contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer to discuss your case. An attorney can help you gather evidence to support your claim and represent your interests in court.
In the most basic sense, the person responsible for an accident is the person whose actions caused it to occur. Most of the time, no one intends to cause a car crash (although, if they do, they will be held liable). Instead, legal liability for an accident is usually determined by whether the person or entity at fault acted negligently in causing a Fort Lauderdale car crash.
Although most people have heard the phrase “negligence” used by lawyers, many may not fully comprehend what it implies. To prove someone was negligent in their actions, in most cases you must show that an individual:
Every driver owes a duty of care to everyone else on the road, including other drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. This duty requires drivers to operate their vehicles reasonably to avoid accidents and injuries to others.
According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Crash Dashboard, 3,335 people were killed as a result of 340,918 collisions throughout the state in 2020. This is a startling fact that emphasizes the importance of following safety precautions and traffic laws carefully. Safe driving may help to prevent many fatalities. The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles department has stressed the need to use seat belts while driving in order to improve passenger safety.
Every driver agrees to follow traffic laws and safety precautions when obtaining a license to operate a motor vehicle in the state. Out of state drivers also agree to follow the rules of the state they are in while operating a motor vehicle.
When a driver violates those rules and causes an accident, that violation serves as evidence. It will help you prove that they were “negligent” behind the wheel. For example, it may indicate that a driver was negligent if, at the time of the accident, he or she was:
Fort Lauderdale injury attorneys often need to gather independent evidence. Independent evidence refers to something more than their client’s description of the events. The evidence is relevant to show the other driver’s fault when establishing negligence. So, for example, the victim’s testimony that she saw the other driver texting right before the accident would not be enough.
Instead, the victim’s attorney may need to obtain the other driver’s cell phone records. This could be used to show the driver’s exact moment of sending a text message.
Alternatively, you could attempt to locate other witnesses who saw the driver texting. An experienced attorney will know the type of evidence required in Fort Lauderdale courts to demonstrate that the other driver’s negligent actions caused the accident.
The following types of evidence may be used in a car accident claim:
Before seeking damages from the person or people who caused the wreck, it is best to consult with a Fort Lauderdale auto accident attorney, especially if someone attempts to shift the blame to you or others to avoid having to pay.
The lawyer will first try to determine all entities or individuals involved, whose actions caused the accident, and the extent of your injuries. In many accidents, liability may not be limited to “the other driver” because other people or entities may share liability for the collision. As an example:
The more potential defendants a lawyer can identify, the more options the client may have for recouping compensation.
Not all legal actions seeking damages arising from an accident require the victim to demonstrate negligence. There are times when someone can be held “strictly liable” for causing harm even if they did not act negligently.
For instance, manufacturers of defective products can be held strictly liable. Automobile and auto-parts manufacturers may be held strictly liable if they sell a defective product that fails to work as it was intended and the defect causes harm or injury to a person.
A product can be considered “defective” if it has a flaw in its design, is poorly manufactured, or does not come with instructions on how to use it safely.
Because most drivers have auto insurance, insurance companies play a significant role in car crashes where a victim seeks compensation from another driver who was at fault. In many states, if a victim is injured in a car crash caused by another driver, they will seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance company. The other driver’s insurance company will pay for the other driver’s defense lawyer most of the time.
The State of Florida is a “no-fault” state. That means that your own “personal injury protection” coverage pays the medical bills and certain other financial losses of anyone covered under the policy, despite who caused the accident. This coverage applies regardless of who is at fault in the accident.
The problem with this system is that it limits the types of damages for which you can receive compensation. In order to file a lawsuit against the negligent party to recover additional damages, such as pain and suffering, your car accident injuries must qualify as “serious” in accordance with state law.
This means that the accident must have caused one of the following to meet Florida’s “seriousness” threshold:
In order to prove that your injuries meet one of the above criteria, you and your attorney will need to provide documentation from a medical provider that supports your claim.
If you are in an accident in Fort Lauderdale, it is best to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. An experienced Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer can help you identify all potential defendants, file a lawsuit if necessary, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
Thousands of auto accidents across Florida have resulted in injuries to drivers and passengers. If you have been involved in a collision, you may have incurred physical, mental, and economic damages. Injuries resulting from car accidents can create havoc and may cause life-threatening injuries.
Many individuals are undecided about whether or not they should consult a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer. They may be scared because their accident has already put them under a great deal of stress. They may worry that hiring a legal professional would simply increase the cost of the problem and make things worse. As many injury attorneys work on a contingency basis and don’t charge upfront fees, this is not the case.
A contingency fee means that the lawyer does not charge you until and unless you get compensation. This way, your attorney remains committed to you and also has a stake in getting appropriate compensation. Here are some of the ways that an attorney can help you:
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured because of another person’s negligence, our office is ready to help. We have the knowledge and experience needed to represent clients who are struggling with their injuries.
Whether you have a minor hand injury or a severe head injury, you have the right to fight for compensation owed to you for expenses and damages related to your injuries.
We understand that being injured in an auto accident can be a traumatic experience. You may be feeling overwhelmed, confused, and uncertain of your next steps. That is why our firm is here to help you every step of the way.
Contact Berke Law Firm today for a free consultation. We will work diligently to obtain the compensation you deserve so that you can focus on healing and moving forward with your life.
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