It’s easy to determine liability in most car accidents. For instance, consider a rear-end accident on Oakland Park Boulevard and Powerline Road in Ft. Lauderdale. It’s nearly always the fault of the trailing vehicle unless there is firm and credible evidence that suggests otherwise.
But there are numerous auto collisions in Ft. Lauderdale and throughout Florida where both parties claim that they were in the right. For example, both motorists claim that the other failed to stop at a stop sign. When you hire a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer, they will evaluate the evidence and factors surrounding your case to determine how much compensation you may be owed.
Get Help After an Accident
If you suffered injuries, establishing liability is critical if you want compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Although Florida is a no-fault state that allows you to claim benefits for your medical costs and lost income regardless of who was at fault, you will only receive a limited amount. This will not adequately compensate you in serious injury cases. Also, no-fault insurance does not provide any compensation for pain and suffering.
Therefore, it’s essential that you retain an experienced and knowledgeable Florida car accident lawyer who will handle your claim from start to finish, including an investigation of your case. Without a professional approach, you may not receive the compensation you deserve, if at all.
What Can You Do?
There are several things you can do that can help your car accident lawyer in the investigation of your claim. These include:
- Take photographs with your cellphone of the accident scene, vehicles, objects in the roadway, skid marks, signage, other property damage, the other motorist and passengers, the other party’s driver’s license, registration, and insurance card.
- Do not discuss any details of the accident with the other driver.
- Get contact information from any witnesses.
- Do not give statements to anyone other than the investigating police officer.
- Tell the investigating officer what you recall and be sure to include all of your injuries.
- Do not refuse medical attention at the scene.
- Immediately contact a Ft. Lauderdale car accident lawyer from Steinger, Greene & Feiner.
Your insurance adjuster, as well as the other party’s adjuster, will accept their own insured’s version of the accident absent compelling evidence to the contrary. Following the above suggestions can often support your version and convince the opposing adjuster that you have a valid and sustainable claim.
How Your Car Accident Lawyer Investigates Your Claim
If liability is disputed, it is vital that your attorney immediately begin an investigation. Evidence can be lost in a short period and witnesses can disappear or later be reluctant to get involved. The investigation may entail:
- Sending an investigator to interview witnesses and obtain statements.
- Canvassing the area for surveillance cameras at adjoining businesses or on poles maintained by the municipality. If video footage exists, your attorney can request the tape from the business or city or obtain a subpoena to gain access.
- Retaining an accident reconstruction expert to visit the accident scene, to examine the damage to both vehicles, any skid marks, objects in the roadway, and any other property damage. The expert will use the findings along with the statements from the parties and witnesses to simulate the conditions and factors at that time to determine how the accident occurred. An expert can also examine the roadway design and conditions that could lead to municipal liability under some circumstances.
- Reviewing the photographs of the scene that you took. This can reveal other possible contributing factors such as an obscured sign, poor weather, road conditions, and damage to the vehicles or other areas that are no longer present.
- Studying the police or accident collision report. The officer may have erred in reporting your statement or the other party may have stated something inconsistent with the facts, the witness statements, or with the property damage. The report might also indicate that the other driver was operating a company vehicle or otherwise driving for work. If so, your attorney can make a claim against the employer and its insurer that can also provide a resource for substantial compensation, especially in serious or fatal car accident claims.
- If alcohol was involved, the police report will note the officer’s observations of the driver such as slurred speech, stumbling, confusion, and poor performance on coordination tests. It can also provide information on where the driver was drinking before driving that could result in a dram shop claim against the bar or restaurant if the responsible driver is a minor or a well-known alcoholic.
- Determining if your car and the other involved vehicle had an Event Data Recorder. If so, it can provide valuable data on steering, restraint use, acceleration, braking, dash lights, and other information that can indicate the driver’s conduct and vehicle’s reaction in the moments before the accident.
- If you or the other party alleged that the steering, tires, brakes or some other equipment malfunctioned such as an airbag, seatbelt, or child seat, an expert can examine the vehicle. If a defect or incompetent maintenance is found, the entity that serviced the vehicle or the manufacturer can be brought into the claim.
- Subpoena the other driver’s cellphone records to show that he/she was using a cellphone at the moment of the collision to establish careless or reckless driving.
- Monitoring the other party’s social media. If the other party is active on social media sites, your lawyer or an investigator might uncover photographs and statements that can contradict their version of events.
Hire a Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer from Steinger, Greene & Feiner
A thorough investigation of your Ft. Lauderdale car accident injury claim is often the difference between receiving fair and reasonable compensation for your claim and little to nothing at all. Even if your claim is denied by the other party’s insurer, an investigation by a seasoned car accident lawyer from the Law Firm of Steinger, Greene & Feiner could uncover credible evidence of their insured’s responsibility or even that of a third party.
Call our office today at (954) 302-7080 for a free consultation about your car accident injury.