What happens if you are not at fault in a car accident, but the other party accuses you of being at fault? How do you go about disputing fault after a car accident in Florida?
The success of any legal matter depends on the unique circumstances of each case, therefore, we cannot guarantee particular results for future clients.
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Variables In Disputing Fault
Now, this can be a complex situation and the reason for that is there’s a lot of variables that go into what creates an accident and what causes someone to be, as we define in the law, at fault.
Law Enforcement’s Role
Essentially what happens in most cases when there is a car accident is law enforcement will respond to the scene, and they’ll make a determination.
Now, let me be clear about this. Just because law enforcement makes a determination that someone is or isn’t at fault doesn’t mean they’re right.
It happens regularly because most accidents are not actually observed by law enforcement.
They talk to one party, they talk to a witness, they talk to other individuals, and then they have to make a call. That is the normal course. That doesn’t mean that they’re right. And often we challenge those determinations and are successful when disputing fault.
Disputing Fault In Litigation
Even if law enforcement does make a determination that you are at fault, it might not have any relevance to the actual civil lawsuit itself when disputing fault.
If you’ve been accused of being at fault even though you don’t believe you are at fault, that does not mean you don’t potentially have a claim as well against the (other) party.
What it generally requires is an attorney who truly understands litigation and has the ability to build up an actual case for you and to prove — and generally in the civil realm it is by what we call a preponderance of the evidence, so it’s a slight tipping (of) the scale — that the other party is more likely to be at fault. If we’re able to do that, if we’re able to show that, then your case is not excluded. We’re able to move forward.
What Your Attorney Will Do
Clearly, there are a lot of variables that come into play when disputing fault and that’s something that we as your attorney have to flush out as we move forward with the case as to exactly what happened, how it happened, (and) what witnesses may or may not be available.
Again, sometimes drivers who are at fault will just make the claim even though it’s not accurate, not true, and cannot be validated. It doesn’t mean that it holds any water whatsoever and sometimes it just immediately gets dismissed by either an insurance company or a law enforcement officer or whoever (else) might be involved.
So long story short, it doesn’t mean that you have any sort of liability just because somebody makes an accusation that you’re at fault.
If you know you weren’t at fault, if you believe you weren’t at fault, it’s our job as your car accident attorney to help you.
If you have any questions regarding your car accident case and disputing fault, give us a call.
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