Car accidents in Tampa happen in the blink of an eye. When all you see is a flash of glass and the sudden appearance of the ground in your windshield, you may have no idea who to blame and where to turn to for compensation.
Fortunately, you have recourse. Florida law allows you to file no-fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance no matter who caused the accident, covering up to $10,000 in losses.
If PIP isn’t enough, reach out to an experienced Tampa car accident attorney. Appointing a lawyer can allow you to investigate your accident privately, identify at-fault parties, and document both negligence and the extent of your damages.
Steinger, Greene & Feiner can provide you with these services at no up-front cost to you, meaning you don’t pay unless we can recover money for your accident losses. Schedule a free, no-obligation case review with a Tampa personal injury attorney near you when you call (800) 316-8514 or contact us online now.
How Is Fault Determined After a Car Accident in Tampa?
Technically speaking, fault can only be assigned by a court verdict or a voluntary confession. However, when filing liability insurance, the insurance company will usually be willing to assume some or all of liability – provided the claimant submits compelling evidence of their policyholder’s fault.
“Fault,” in the legal sense, usually comes down to the following question: “Who was negligent?”
Negligence is a legal concept that involves proving four main factors:
- The defendant had a duty of care to not harm the injury victim (plaintiff)
- The defendant breached their duty
- The defendant’s breach in their duty directly caused harm (proximate cause)
- The harm led to economic and non-economic losses (damages)
A breach in a duty of care often refers to someone who broke a traffic law or drove recklessly. They could have been speeding, ignoring a stop sign, texting while driving, or simply failed to check their blind spot before changing lanes.
Evidence of negligence can also be more subtle. For instance, when a large semi is involved in a Tampa truck accident, an attorney may need to subpoena evidence of the company’s hiring or drug testing practices to show they neglected to select a qualified driver.
Evidence and a factual basis in statutory or case law are the most important elements in establishing fault after a Tampa car accident.
Comparative Negligence and Multi-Party Car Accident Claims
Florida’s comparative negligence laws allow for car accident victims to recover compensation from every single party involved in their accident. The compensation makes up a portion of the total damages, adjusted by that party’s assumed percentage of fault.
So, if your accident involved a ten-car pileup, it’s possible you will receive a small amount of compensation from each driver involved.
It’s also possible that someone not present at the time of the accident could be at fault. For instance, if someone was driving a vehicle that had a massive brake failure because of a critical design flaw, then the manufacturer of the vehicle may be partially at fault for the accident.
The possibility of multiple claims against multiple claimants is one of the biggest reasons accident victims should work with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Tampa. Your attorney and their legal team will investigate the accident, identify each potentially liable party, and then determine each party’s estimated portion of fault, according to the facts of the case.
Seeking multiple claims complicates a case quickly, but it also covers your bases so that you have the highest possible chances of recovering compensation. If one party somehow manages to elude liability because of an unfavorable judgment, the accident victim can still pursue other parties involved.
Gathering Evidence to Prove Fault
Establishing fault after a Tampa car accident can be a hefty responsibility. You may need to extensively question witnesses or subpoena evidence. Sometimes, the police report may not be enough on its own. In that case, an attorney will hire an accident reconstruction investigator who can help put all the pieces together.
Fact-finding during a car accident case can be the most crucial step in helping victims recover compensation they need to pay their bills and recoup losses. Determining who could have been liable and what portion of fault they share is especially important when fault is not immediately clear.
Work with Experienced Car Accident Lawyers in Tampa to Track Down Who’s At Fault for Your Collision
Determining fault after a Tampa collision can be hard work, and it may involve complex legal knowledge or tasks that are difficult for the average person to fully carry out. For accident victims who want to increase their chances of identifying all at-fault parties, appointing an attorney can be the most important step in their entire case timeline.
Steinger, Greene & Feiner is ready to assist you. We work tirelessly on your behalf to uncover all available evidence and consider every single party’s potential contribution to the accident.
Give us a call at (800) 316-8514 or contact us online. You can schedule an absolutely free appointment with one of our attorneys to learn more about how we track down who’s at fault for your accident.