In Florida, fault is assessed by determining which driver’s negligence caused the accident. To define negligence, your lawyer will prove its four legal elements — duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
A lawyer will also help you prove the cause of your accident and assign financial liability to the at-fault driver. They will help you prepare a strong case file with supportive evidence that compels compensation.
Determine Fault by Establishing the Four Elements of Negligence
Establishing negligence after a car accident can be time-consuming and complex. A car accident lawyer from our firm can handle proof of negligence for you. They can work on your case while you focus on getting better. Their goal is to prove the negligent driver’s liability and your right to financial recovery.
You must satisfy the following four elements of negligence to prove that another party caused your accident:
Duty of Care
Duty of care means the at-fault driver was responsible for operating their vehicle in a safe and appropriate manner. That includes obeying the rules of the road and all traffic signs and signals. It also includes driving conscientiously and attentively.
Breach of Duty
The at-fault driver breached their responsibility to provide you with a duty of care if they drove in a reckless or careless way. Examples can include driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving while distracted, or ignoring the rules of the road.
The at-fault driver’s actions were directly responsible for the accident and your subsequent injuries. For example, they ran a red light without stopping and crashed into your car.
Damages are the financial consequences of your accident. They can include the costs of your medical care throughout your recovery. Your damages could also be property losses and other expenses related to the accident.
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Collect Evidence That Proves Negligence
The extent of your injuries can play a role in how active you can be in collecting evidence that proves your case. If you are unable to collect evidence, an attorney from our firm can do it on your behalf. Your lawyer will have familiarity with state and local laws and will understand the evidence your case needs and how to obtain it.
We can use evidence such as:
The Car Accident Report
Your accident report is typically available within days of its filing. It will contain contact details for the at-fault driver, their insurance company, and any available witnesses. It will also contain details about the accident including causes and contributing factors.
Your Medical Records and Bills
Your medical records will document your injuries and their causes. They will outline any necessary medications and assistive medical devices. Medical records will also contain a written prognosis that substantiates the care you will require in the future.
Medical bills will show how much money you had to spend on treatment. This can be used to help you recover that money in the form of compensation.
Your lawyer will obtain statements from anyone who witnessed your accident. They will also identify and consult with expert witnesses who support your case.
Assess the Negligent Driver’s Financial Liability
After a car accident, you can request compensation for economic damages. These have documented, out-of-pocket costs and can include:
- Current and ongoing medical bills
- Current and future lost income
- Treatment-related travel expenses
- Property damage or loss
- Diminished property value
Additionally, you can recover non-economic damages, which are your intangible losses. They can be more difficult to prove and can include:
- Physical disability
- Physical disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Reduced quality of life
Our law firm can handle your case and prove the value of these damages with medical records, notes on your prognosis, bills, and estimates.
If a loved one lost their life in a car accident, your family can recover the costs of making their final arrangements. You can also recover their lost financial and household contributions to the family. A car accident lawyer will assess your family’s potential monetary recovery and ensure the appropriate party files a wrongful death action.
Start Building Your Car Accident Case Right Away
The law limits the amount of time you have to file a civil lawsuit against a negligent driver. Accordingly:
- You generally have four years to file a personal injury lawsuit, according to Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a).
- If a family member was fatally injured in the accident, you generally have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit, according to Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(d).
Failure to comply with the statute of limitations could mean you will not be permitted to file your lawsuit at all. It could also mean your lawsuit will simply be dismissed. Our attorney will explain the applicable filing deadline and make sure it is met.
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Get a Free Case Review After a Car Accident
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, I am ready to help you fight for fair financial compensation. At Andrew Pickett Law, PLLC, my team and I will explain how fault is determined after a car accident in Florida. We also explain how we build your case and prove the at-fault driver’s responsibility.
Contact us today to get started by meeting with me and my team of paralegals.