How fault is determined in a car accident case in Orlando, FL depends on a four-step process. If even one of the four elements is missing, the courts will not assess liability.
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Step One: Establish Duty of Care
Before the law will hold someone responsible for another person’s injury, the person under scrutiny must have had a legal duty toward the person who got hurt.
Step Two: Prove Breach of the Duty of Care
When a person’s conduct does not live up to the standard of the legal duty of care, it is negligence. A driver can be negligent if they tailgate, speed, run a red light, driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, text, drive while drowsy, or any other actions that endanger others on the road.
It is possible to be negligent and not be liable for an accident. Many people fail to meet a legal standard but are not at fault in a wreck.
Step Three: Demonstrate Causation
The negligence must be the thing that caused the accident. If there was no accident, there is no liability. For example, if you drive 60 miles an hour in a 55 mph zone or you accidentally went through a stop sign out in the middle of nowhere but there was no collision, there is no fault.
When the negligence causes an accident, the careless person can be liable. Let’s say that someone is following another car too closely for safety. The tailgating is negligence. If the traffic suddenly slows, the tailgater will be unable to stop their car in time to avoid rear-ending the vehicle they are following. Their careless conduct is the cause of the accident.
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Step Four: Show Damages
You must have quantifiable losses from the accident to pursue a personal injury claim. If you were a passenger in a car and you escaped injury, you will not have a claim against the party whose negligence caused the collision. If you got hurt, however, you can pursue a claim for money damages against the person responsible for the crash.
Scenarios for Liability Analysis
Here is an example of a fact pattern that satisfies all four elements of liability:
- All drivers are supposed to keep a careful lookout. (Duty of care)
- The defendant was texting while driving. (Breach of the duty)
- Because they were not paying attention, they did not notice that their car had drifted onto the shoulder of the road, where a pedestrian was walking. (Causation)
- The car struck and injured the pedestrian. (Damages)
We understand that these multiple legal requirements can be confusing, but you do not have to worry about these issues. We investigate every car accident case that we handle and gather the evidence to prove all four elements of liability.
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine Can Help With Your Car Accident Case
If you want responsive legal care, contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine. We know how fault is determined in a car accident case in Orlando, FL and we go the extra mile. Call 1-800-747-3733 for a free consultation. You have a limited time to act under FL § 95.11.