28 Jun 2023

How to prove fault after a Tampa car accident

Posted By Darrigo & Diaz

How to determine fault after a Tampa car accident

If you are involved in a Tampa car accident, one of your biggest concerns may be who will be held accountable. Proving fault in a car accident in Tampa is very important for determining who will pay for your damages and medical expenses. However, proving fault is not always easy. In this blog, we explain the factors involved in determining fault after a Tampa car accident.

Understanding Florida’s negligence laws

First, you must understand Florida’s negligence laws. With the recent passing of House Bill 837, Florida changed from a comparative negligence system to a modified comparative negligence system. This means that if a person is determined to be more than 50% at fault for causing an accident in Tampa, he or she cannot recover anything to pay for medical bills or damages. Yes, you read that right. Therefore, you can only recover compensation if you are found to be completely free of fault for causing the accident, or minimally at fault.

Scenarios where you may be more than 50% at fault for causing an accident

Here are a few examples of scenarios where you may be found more than 50% at fault for causing an accident.

– You were speeding and someone turned in front of you, resulting in a car accident. Because you were speeding, you may share blame in causing the accident even though someone else hit you.

– You weren’t wearing a seatbelt when someone rear-ended you. A jury may find that your injuries were the result of not wearing a seat belt. Therefore, you may not be compensated for your medical expenses.

– Your taillight was out and a car rear-ended you. Because your vehicle was not working properly, you may be held partially accountable for causing an accident.

Factors involved in proving fault after a car accident in Tampa

Under Florida’s new law, it is imperative that you correctly establish fault after a car accident in Tampa. Failure to do so could result in zero or minimal compensation for your damages and injuries. Below are several factors used to help prove fault after a Tampa car accident.

1. What does the police report say?

If you are involved in a car accident in Tampa, one of the first steps in proving fault is to obtain evidence and documentation. This includes the official police report, photographs of the scene, witness statements, and photographs of the vehicle damage, and medical records of your injuries.

2. What are the traffic laws at the scene?

Next, you need to know the traffic laws for the scene of the crime. Is there a stop sign or traffic light? What is the speed limit? Is there a yield sign? Is there construction? If a person violates a traffic law and causes an accident, they will likely be found at-fault.

3. What evidence is at the accident scene?

Another important step is to investigate the accident scene. This is where hiring an experienced Tampa car accident attorney will prove invaluable. For example, Darrigo & Diaz hires private investigators and accident experts to go to the scene and examine and physical evidence. Our team looks for skid marks, road conditions, signage, and any other factors that could have led to the accident. 

4. Can you prove the other party acted negligently?

In order to prove fault, you must be able to demonstrate that the other party acted negligently. This means you must show that they failed to exercise reasonable care and their actions directly caused the accident. Negligence can include driving distracted, driving under the influence, speeding, or driving with an impaired vehicle (bald tires, broken headlights, etc).

5. Did you seek medical care after the accident?

To prove fault and receive fair compensation, you must be able to show that the accident caused your injuries. Therefore, you must seek medical care and document your injuries and/or treatment. If you do not see a doctor or care team within two weeks of the accident, you may forfeit your right to compensation.

6. Consult with a Tampa car accident attorney

Proving fault after a Tampa car accident is complex and stressful. But it doesn’t have to be. The best thing you can do after an accident is consult with an experienced Tampa car accident attorney. An attorney will be able to assess the strength of your case, investigate the accident, gather the necessary evidence, and fight the insurance companies to ensure you receive full and fair compensation.

Injured in a Tampa car accident?

Call Darrigo & Diaz immediately at (813) 437-5523

If you are injured in a Tampa car accident, you should contact Darrigo & Diaz immediately. We understand how frustrating and overwhelming this situation can be. Our experienced team has helped hundreds of Tampa Bay residents recover compensation for accidents that were not their fault.

We offer free consultations and you do not have to pay anything unless we win your case.

Call (813) 437-5523 now to schedule your complimentary meeting with our experienced Tampa car accident attorneys.

Categories: Car Accidents
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