If you are involved in an auto accident, you may quickly find yourself in a debate with the other party when it comes to determining fault. Even if those involved were fairly civil at the accident scene, once the time comes for people to pay for the damage they’ve caused, you might face some reluctance.
Suddenly, the story will change and the accident will quickly become your fault. By blaming you, even partially, the driver who caused the accident will attempt to make sure he or she won’t owe you as much.
If the scenario sounds familiar to you, please contact a Crestview auto accident attorney at Powell, Powell & Powell. Our attorneys are here to assist you when the other driver claims you contributed to an accident you didn’t cause.
Protecting You From Blame
A simple example of how another driver might try to place the blame on you would be if he or she hit you from behind at an angle. Maybe you were facing each other in an intersection and both of you made a turn in the same direction. However, when you went first, the other car crashed into your vehicle.
Depending on the scenario, the driver might say that, while it’s true you had the right-of-way, he or she wouldn’t have hit you if you hadn’t slowed down in the intersection to send a text message or take a phone call.
There are any number of accusations that an at-fault driver might make to mitigate his or her responsibility. Such tactics are acceptable in Florida, but that doesn’t mean you have to automatically accept them without exploring your legal options and rights.
Powell, Powell & Powell is here to try to ensure no one brings accusations against you without having adequate proof. Even if the accuser does have proof of your contributions to the accident, we are prepared to help make sure the overall analysis of the accident is done fairly and accurately.
Protecting You From Reductions
In Florida, fault can make a big difference in car accidents and other personal injury cases. The state follows what is called a “comparative fault” rule. This means that any percentage of fault for which the court deems you responsible is the same percentage by which your award for damages is reduced.
For instance, if you were in an accident and your damages totaled $100,000, but the other driver’s attorney was able to convince the courts that you were 30 percent responsible for the accident, the court would reduce your award by 30 percent.
As you can see, even a minor percentage of fault can lead to a substantial reduction in the amount of damages you receive. That’s why it’s crucial to work with an experienced attorney who knows how to fight for your rights.
Powell, Powell & Powell is able to work with professional experts who know how to reconstruct accidents. We may be able to find witnesses from the scene who can help your case. Phone or other electronic records, including red-light cameras, police footage or photos or footage you take with your own cell phone may also help.
Talk to one of our attorneys today to ensure you don’t become victimized by inflated comparative fault claims after you’ve already been the victim of an auto accident.