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A Guide To Proving Fault Following A Car Accident in Miami

Working out who is at fault in a car accident in Miami is the same as when dealing with other accident types – it involves deciding who was ‘negligent’ in legalese.

In a large number of situations, common sense easily determines whether a driver, pedestrian or cyclist was careless, however, you may not know which rules have been violated. When you are making your case to an insurance company that another individual was at fault for an accident, it can help if you have ‘official’ support for your conclusion. Below are a number of sources of such support.

Police Reports Can Be Of Use

If police attended the accident, especially in the case of injury, they likely produced a written report. You can ask to obtain a copy by approaching the traffic division of your local Miami police station.

At times, the police report will make a direct reference to the officer’s opinion of who was in violation of a specific law and that this violation resulted in the accident. The report may even mention that the officer issued a citation. In other cases, the report may simply mention negligent behavior without denoting that this was the cause of the accident.

State Traffic Laws Can Prove Your Case

State laws which govern driving are another source of support for the conclusion you have made that the other driver was at fault. These rules are generally called the ‘Vehicle Code’ and are part of the state’s statues.

It is often possible to obtain a simplified version of these laws (it may be called the ‘Rules of the Road’) at a Miami department of motor vehicles office. Usually, all law libraries, as well as many public libraries, will have the complete vehicle code.

You can use the index of the vehicle code to find listings which relate to your situation. Some examples of such are ‘speed limits’ and ‘right of way’. A librarian at a law library may be able to assist you in your search, so make sure you ask for help. If your search leads to a rule which you feel may be relevant to your accident, make sure you note down the wording exactly as it appears, as well as the statute number, this will help you to accurately make mention of it when you are in negotiations with your insurance company.

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“No-Doubt Liability”

In a few specific types of accidents, the other driver is at fault in 99% of all cases, this means the insurance company often isn’t interested in arguing the case.

Collisions Which Are Rear-End

It is almost never your fault if you have been hit by a driver from behind, this is regardless of the reason for your stopping. A basic road rule is that of drivers being able to stop in a safe manner if the traffic in front of them stops. If this doesn’t happen, it means that the driver behind wasn’t driving as safely as the driver in front of them.

Another almost-certain part of rear-end collisions is that the damage speaks for itself: If one car has a damaged front while the other has a damaged rear there is no room for debate as to who hit who. That being said, the driver who collided with you may have a claim against the person who made you stop suddenly, or a third party who pushed their car so that it collided with yours, however, it still doesn’t change the responsibility which they have to the damages to your vehicle and any personal injuries which may have occurred.

However, even if you have been rear-ended, there are situations where your own carelessness, classified under the rule “comparative negligence” may bring down your compensation. One example, especially for night time car accidents, is when either one or both of your tail lights were out. Having mechanical issues but failing to do all in your power to remove your vehicle from the road is another example.

Left-Turn Accidents

In a collision involving a car making a left turn and a car coming straight in the other direction, the car making the turn is almost always at fault. Exceptions are rare and tricky to prove, they may happen if:

– The car going straight was significantly exceeding the speed limit.
– The car going straight ignored a red light.
– The car making a left turn initiated the turn safely, however, an unexpected event caused it to stop or slow down. This is hard to prove as a basic road rule is that of a left-turning car waiting until it can safely complete the turn before it moves in front of oncoming traffic.

As is the case with rear-end collisions, where the damage is located at on the cars can make it difficult for the driver to claim that the accident did not occur when making a left-hand turn.

If you have been involved in an accident in the Miami area, then contact an experienced Miami car accident attorney

Read More: Do You Have To Report A Minor Car Accident?


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