Can I Prove Fault for an Accident Through Vehicle Damage?
A wide range of evidence is often required to determine how a car accident occurred. This could include everything from video recordings to eyewitness accounts. Fortunately, even in cases where this evidence is not available and the parties don’t agree on what happened on the day of the accident, an injured party is not necessarily out of luck. This is because claimants can introduce evidence of the damage done to their vehicles, which with the help of engineers, reconstruction specialists, and an experienced Fort Lauderdale auto accident lawyer can help prove how an accident occurred.
Why Fault Matters
Because Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state, many people believe that proving fault in an accident doesn’t really matter. In some cases, this is true, and fault for a crash won’t necessarily be a factor when filing a claim with an insurer. It is when a person sustains serious injuries, however, that proving fault becomes particularly important. In these cases, when an injured party can meet the serious injury threshold, he or she can sue the driver who caused the crash and seek compensation for:
- Medical bills;
- Lost income and benefits;
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering;
- Future loss of income resulting from permanent disability;
- Accident-related property damage; and
- Out-of-pocket expenses.
Obtaining full reimbursement for these losses isn’t always possible when filing an insurance claim, making it especially important for those who sustain serious injuries in Florida car accidents to have a thorough understanding of all their legal options.
Vehicle Damage as Evidence of Fault
If there weren’t any eyewitnesses to an accident and there were no passengers in the vehicle who can testify as to what happened, an injured party may need the help of an expert who can examine the vehicles to help prove fault. This is achieved by assessing the type, location, and severity of the damage sustained by the vehicles to help recreate the scene of the accident. Often, this endeavor requires the aid of a team of experts, including engineers, reconstruction specialists, and industry experts, who can apply the laws of physics and the basics of engineering to reconstruct the crash. Other information that often proves helpful in determining fault in these cases, includes:
- The type and severity of the injuries sustained by the drivers;
- The vehicles’ crashworthiness rating;
- The physical evidence from the scene of the accident, including skid marks;
- The weather and road conditions at the time of the crash;
- The vehicles’ safety features; and
- Data recovered from the vehicles’ recorders and computer systems.
Fortunately, under Florida’s comparative negligence law, even if this analysis reveals that a plaintiff was partially at fault for a crash, he or she will not be barred from recovery.
Set Up a Free Consultation Today
Proving that another driver was at fault for a crash is one of the best ways that an accident victim can increase how much compensation he or she receives for a car accident claim. To learn more about how to go about building a strong case of your own, please call the dedicated car accident attorneys at Boone & Davis at 954-566-9919 today.