Do I Need an Attorney for a No-Doubt Liability Claim?
There are approximately 6 million auto accidents in the United States each year, and in Florida alone, there are about 400,000 car crashes annually. In many of these accidents, there are differing versions of what happened and questions and disputes over who was at fault. In other cases, however, there is no doubt about liability.
These are usually cases when there was clear wrongdoing on the part of one of the drivers, and there are at least two or three witnesses that can attest to what happened. There might even be video footage of the crash from a traffic camera or one of the driver’s dashboard cameras.
When someone is involved in a vehicle accident where the case is clear and there is no dispute over fault, those who get injured often wonder if they need a lawyer for this type of claim. The short answer to that question is – “it depends”.
Every auto accident case is different, and there are always going to be unique circumstances and contributing factors. This is why we always recommend that car accident victims at least talk with an attorney to discuss the case and find out what your legal rights and options are.
It might turn out that the case is simple and straightforward and there is no need to get an attorney involved. But on the other hand, there could be complications that will make it more challenging to pursue the claim on your own. Most personal injury lawyers provide free initial consultations, so you have nothing to lose except a little bit of your time to find out where you stand.
Examples of No Doubt Liability Car Accident Cases
Here are a few situations when there would be very little question about who was at fault for the vehicle crash:
- DUI Accidents: If a driver is committing an illegal act at the time of the crash, such as driving while intoxicated, then it will usually be assumed that this is the driver at fault. It is important to note, however, that this might not necessarily apply to a situation in which the driver had alcohol in their system but was below the legal limit (.08 blood alcohol concentration in most cases). When this happens, other factors would also need to be closely examined to determine liability.
- Rear-End Crashes: Drivers are supposed to keep a sufficient distance from the cars in front of them and not follow them too closely. Tailgating can often result in a rear-end collision, and when this occurs, the driver who initiates contact will usually be at fault. That said, the lead driver could share some fault if their brake or tail lights were out and/or they were texting on their phone at the time of the crash.
- Left Turn Accidents: With a left turn crash, the driver turning left is usually at fault because they tried to turn before the road was clear. But there could be exceptions in a case like this as well. For example, if the driver coming straight through the intersection was speeding, then they would be committing a traffic violation and the blame would shift to the speeding driver.
How an Attorney Can Help with a No Doubt Liability Claim
As the above examples show, a car accident case in which it appears that one driver is clearly at fault may not always be as clear-cut as it is first believed. Complicating factors could result in the plaintiff sharing some of the blame, which could reduce the amount of compensation they receive under Florida’s comparative negligence laws.
It is also in the insurer’s financial interests to minimize the amount of damages they have to pay for their client’s actions. Toward that end, they might either try to pin some of the blame on you and/or claim that you are exaggerating the extent of your injuries.
If you are working with an experienced attorney, they will deal directly with the insurance company and make sure that your legal rights and interests are fully protected during the claims process. This could result in a significantly higher settlement, especially if you sustained moderate to severe injuries from the accident.
Injured in an Auto Accident in Florida? Contact Whibbs, Stone, & Barnett for Assistance
Car accident cases are not always as clear-cut as they first appear, and those who get injured in these accidents should always speak with an attorney before moving forward with their claim. If you or someone close to you got hurt in a vehicle accident in Florida, Whibbs, Stone, & Barnett is here to help. Call our office today at 1-888-219-4561 or message us online for a free consultation and case assessment.