It is not as easy to determine the at-fault party in side-impact crashes. Rear-end accidents can be more obvious since the driver who crashed into the back of another vehicle is typically responsible. There are many causes of side-impact accidents, so deciding who caused the accident involves investigation.
Florida is a no-fault state, which means that your auto insurance will cover your losses regardless of who is responsible for the collision. Florida requires drivers to have at least the minimum amount of insurance to cover losses to their vehicles, self, and passengers. However, you can seek additional compensation from an at-fault driver if your losses are more than the insurance coverage.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 747-3733
Determining the At-Fault Party
When a car accident causes injury, death, or property damage greater than $500, the driver needs to report the incident to local law enforcement, according to Florida Statutes §316.065. Reporting the accident does not affect who officials consider being at fault. However, you can face a misdemeanor for trying to hide the accident by repairing the vehicle without notifying the city or municipality.
How is fault determined in a side-impact accident? Officers at the scene of the accident will gather statements from both parties to piece together how the incident occurred. They will consider the rules of the road, like speed limits and right of way.
For example, if a driver crashes into another while making a left-hand turn, they are almost always liable for the crash because the other driver had the right of way. However, the driver going straight may be responsible if:
- They were driving above the speed limit.
- They ran a red light.
- They were driving in the wrong direction on a one-way street.
Insurance companies typically determine fault based on the information available, such as through a police report. If one of the drivers received a traffic citation, the insurance company might also use it when determining fault.
Insurance companies might send an adjuster to investigate the accident. Your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company will use different adjusters. Adjusters look at medical reports, assess vehicles’ damage, and speak to witnesses.
How We Can Help
Although Florida is a no-fault state, you will need to prove another party’s liability if you are pursuing additional compensation. A representative from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can review your case if you are seeking compensation from another driver.
Your legal representative will work with you to establish evidence or proof that the other motorist is responsible for your covered losses. How is fault determined in a side-impact accident?
- Through police reports and other documents
- With photos and videos of the accident and scene
- From eyewitness statements
- Considering traffic tickets
Your legal team can speak with the insurance company on your behalf to request the compensation you need to recover from the incident. We can also represent you in court. Contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733 for more information on liability for auto accidents.