Determining fault in a Florida car accident is important in order to file an appropriate personal injury claim. When more than one vehicle is involved, the complications rise. It becomes even more important to determine the at-fault party; and more than one party may share the responsibility. If you are involved in a multiple-vehicle accident in Florida, contact Ligori & Ligori, Attorneys at Law, right away for experienced accident investigation and legal representation.
Establishing Fault in Multi-Vehicle Accidents in Florida
Numerous parties will become involved in efforts to establish fault in a multi-vehicle accident. Law enforcement officers, insurance claim adjusters, legal representatives of various parties and even a Florida judge can all collect evidence to find who is at fault. Each party will have their own motivations:
- Law enforcement will seek to determine fault so they can issue an appropriate citation.
- Insurance adjusters will seek to mitigate any circumstances that place their insured at fault to minimize losses.
- A judge will seek to determine the at-fault party or parties in order to facilitate any legal charges or lawsuits.
Many pieces of evidence can be collected to assist with determining fault. This can include police accident reports, written statements and photos from accident victims, statements and photos/video from bystanders, video from nearby traffic cameras, skid marks on the pavement and other forensic evidence from the actual accident scene, including inside the vehicles.
In any case, determining fault in a multi-vehicle accident can be tricky and complicated. You need an experienced Florida car accident attorney to protect your rights and pursue the truth.
Fault Criteria for Car Accidents
Florida State Law provides some guidelines for establishing fault when a multi-vehicle accident occurs. All involved parties will seek to consider these elements:
- Duty of care: Who were the responsible drivers that held a legal duty of care for the injured party’s safety?
- Breach of duty: How did each/any responsible driver breach their duty of care, either through negligence or deliberate actions?
- Causation: How did this breach of duty contribute to the accident?
- Damages: What is the extent of the damages caused by the accident?
Types of Multi-Vehicle Accidents
Different types of multi-vehicle accidents can present various scenarios of fault. Consider these most common types of multi-vehicle accidents:
- Repeated rear-end collisions – this usually happens when a sudden stop by the lead vehicle catches following vehicles by surprise. The following vehicles can be following too closely, and too fast, to stop.
- Intersection turn collisions – a vehicle attempting a turn through a busy intersection strikes an oncoming vehicle, causing following vehicles to collide with them or the oncoming traffic. Partial fault could possibly be assigned to several vehicles.
- Lane change collisions – a moving vehicle changes lanes and crashes into another vehicle in the infamous “blind spot.” This often causes the blind spot vehicle to swerve in an attempt to avoid a collision, possibly colliding with a third vehicle. Following vehicles could also collide if they are too close and moving too fast.
Many other scenarios are possible. The complications only grow if, for example, a loaded truck is involved and the load comes loose. Or if conditions are poor, wet or dark. Only an experienced Florida car accident lawyer can sort out what happened and protect your interests, and help you file a claim for compensation against the at-fault parties.
Contact Ligori & Ligori as soon as possible after a Florida car accident, especially if more than one or two vehicles are involved. We have the talent and skills to investigate and pursue a claim for compensation to help with medical costs and property losses you may have incurred.
Posted on behalf of