Determining Fault in Tampa Car Accidents

After a car accident in Tampa, determining who was at fault is one of the first major questions to answer. Properly establishing fault is crucial, as it dictates who is liable and what insurance claims injured parties can file for compensation. This post explains the process for determining fault after a Tampa auto accident and the key factors influencing that determination.

How to Prove Fault in a Car Accident

To hold another driver liable and pursue a valid insurance claim or personal injury case against them, you must prove that they were negligent in a way that caused the crash. You’ll need compelling evidence. There are several potential ways the experienced lawyers at Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers work to demonstrate negligence and establish fault, including:

Police Report

The official crash report filled out by responding law enforcement officers at the scene provides a formal record with critical facts about how law enforcement believes the accident sequence unfolded. The police report may cite the officer’s determination of which driver was at fault based on those documented details.

Witness Testimony

Neutral third-party eyewitness accounts of exactly what occurred during the accident carry significant credibility and weight as evidence. A witness’s ability to provide an impartial statement recounting the events they saw provides proof beyond just the drivers’ own conflicting narratives.

Photo/Video Evidence

Any photographs, dashcam footage, surveillance video or other recording that visually captured the collision as it took place offers undeniable proof that can be analyzed to reveal the specifics of what transpired moment-by-moment.

Vehicle Damage

An accident reconstruction expert investigator can examine the damage patterns on the vehicles involved to determine the likely sequence of impacts and pinpoint which driver’s actions or failure to take evasive maneuvers makes them responsible for causing the collision.

Driver Statements

Both drivers will provide their own account of events that will probably conflict with the other party’s version, but the legal team at Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers will nevertheless scrutinize both drivers’  statements alongside all other gathered evidence to deduce the most logical and credible version of how the accident happened.

By thoroughly conducting an exhaustive independent investigation to compile this strong evidentiary documentation, the legal team at Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers will work to build a solid, defensible case that proves the other driver’s clear negligence caused the auto accident and resulting damage and injuries.

Insurance Fault Determination Rules

Most insurance companies have established guidelines that they follow when investigating auto accidents and assigning fault. These guidelines may dictate that fault is based on certain types of driving violations or dangerous actions exhibited by a driver.

Some common scenarios in which fault automatically gets assigned to a driver include:

  • In rear-end collisions, the rear driver is almost always at fault for failing to leave sufficient stopping distance and not maintaining proper following distance behind the lead vehicle.
  • During left turn accidents, the driver attempting an unsafe left turn across the path of oncoming traffic typically bears full responsibility if they misjudged the opposing traffic’s speed or distance when attempting the crossing maneuver.
  • Drivers who run stop signs or red lights and cause an accident by failing to yield the right of way are deemed negligent for that driving infraction.
  • Fault in crashes directly caused by a drunk, drugged, or distracted driver is assigned to that driver due to the illegal and hazardous nature of operating a vehicle while impaired.
  • Drivers who lose control or become unable to stop due to excessive speeding beyond the posted limits are considered negligent and at fault for those excessive speeding crashes.

While an insurance company’s internal investigation and fault determination establishes their negotiating position regarding who may owe compensation for the resulting injuries, vehicle damage, and other losses from an accident, Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers understands these initial assessments by insurers are often skewed. Insurance providers deflect fault and liability away from their own policyholders whenever possible.

The thorough, unbiased evidence gathered through Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers‘s own independent investigation into all factors frequently contradicts these insurance fault determinations to accurately assign liability based on the full facts.

What Happens If You’re Deemed At-Fault in a Car Accident?

Determining Fault in Tampa Car AccidentsIf the investigation and evidence clearly show that you, the driver, were the primary party exhibiting negligent behavior that directly caused the automobile accident, you can’t recover any compensation from other parties.

However, even in cases where a driver was partially negligent, Florida applies a “comparative negligence” legal standard. This means that even if your actions contributed to the crash, as long as you were less than 51% at fault for the crash, you may still be eligible to recover compensation. However, the amount of your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of your fault for the crash.

The accomplished car accident lawyers at Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers work tirelessly to prove that you had little or no culpability for causing the crash while working to maximize the liability percentages assigned to the other involved parties. When another driver is primarily at fault, our team can then aggressively pursue full and fair financial compensation from that negligent party and their insurance provider. The compensation you could obtain might cover the following:

  • The full cost of all your medical expenses for treating injuries from the accident
  • Any income you’ve lost from missing work due to accident recovery
  • Repair or replacement costs for damage to your vehicle
  • Monetary compensation for the pain, suffering, inconvenience, and overall impact the accident had on your quality of life

Get Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers on Your Side

Since the establishment of fault impacts the entire trajectory and outcome of a personal injury case stemming from a car accident, it’s not something you want to accept an insurance company’s biased findings on simply. The stakes are far too high.

Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers has extensive experience dealing with auto insurers, gathering clear and indisputable evidence, and building strong legal arguments to prove fault and recover maximum compensation from those parties truly liable for causing Tampa car accidents.

Call Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers‘s proven legal team immediately at (619) 233-5020 for a free, no-obligation consultation if you’ve been injured in any type of auto accident in the Tampa area. Our skilled Tampa car accident attorneys promptly conduct exhaustive independent investigations to accurately determine fault and build solid cases to hold negligent parties accountable.


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