Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Causes
Tenacious Injury Lawyers Work to Identify Car Accident Causes and Preserve Crash Victims’ Rights in Fort Lauderdale
With how many cars there are on the road today, it’s no surprise that car accidents occur as often as they do. In fact, if you haven’t gotten into a car accident yet, you should consider yourself extremely lucky.
In almost all car accidents, determining the cause of the crash is important. This is because it’s necessary for determining who should be financially responsible for all of the expenses stemming from the crash. Even with car insurance companies paying for everything, we still want to know who might be unlucky enough to pay higher car insurance premiums.
In some situations, establishing the cause of a car accident is as simple as examining the scene and interviewing the parties involved. In other cases, a much more detailed investigation may be required to determine responsibility.
At Lawlor, White & Murphey, our talented team of Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers understand that the process following a car accident can be frustrating. Making repairs to your vehicle, obtaining necessary medical care, dealing with insurance companies and finding out how to pay your bills can feel like an overwhelming process. Let us help you make the recovery you deserve.
Frequent Causes of Florida Car Crashes
Car accidents causes can usually be broken down into two primary causes. First, there’s mechanical failure. Second, there’s human error.
With some accidents, it’ll be just one of these causes that lead to a car crash. In other accidents, it’ll be a combination of the two. Some of the more common car accident causes in Fort Lauderdale include:
- Distracted driving. Driver distraction is one of the most common causes of car accidents in not just South Florida, but the entire nation. GPS, the radio, texting and even other passengers in the car can all lead the driver to take his or her eyes off the road, lose concentration and cause an accident.
- Aggressive driving. Excessive speeding, tailgating and weaving between lanes are dangerous driving behaviors that can easily cause a car accident.
- Traffic violations. Traffic rules exist to keep drivers on the road as safe as possible. So when these rules are broken, accidents can occur.
- Defective car components. In some cases, the cause of a car accident has nothing to do with the driver’s actions. Instead, it stems from a defective component in the vehicle. In these cases, the company that designed or manufactured the defective part may be financially responsible for any harm resulting from a crash.
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI). Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is extremely dangerous. When an intoxicated driver causes an accident, that driver can be held financially responsible for the resulting injuries. They may also be subject to criminal DWI penalties.
Types of Damages Recoverable Following a South Florida Car Accident
Accidents can be caused by someone else’s negligence, carelessness or recklessness. When any of these things occur, you are legally entitled to recover compensation for injuries and property damage stemming from the accident. This may include compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- In-home modifications
- Future medical treatment
- Future rehabilitative care and physical therapy
- Psychological counseling
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
- Vehicle repairs or replacement
Not all of these damages will be recoverable in every car accident case. If you don’t miss any work due to the car accident, then you probably can’t recover for lost wages or earning capacity.
Also, only when the cause of the accident is especially egregious, will punitive damages be recoverable. Then there’s the issue of not just proving these damages exist, but calculating their amount.
By way of example, let’s say you’re a landscaper and because of an accident, you’ll never be able to work as a landscaper again. How do we calculate the damages for lost earning capacity?
We will need a special witness to testify as to how long someone like you could expect to work as a landscaper. This special witness will also testify as to what kind of income you can expect to earn if you were able to continue working.
So even when it’s undisputed that there will be a loss of future earning capacity, there can be a lot of disagreement in figuring out how to calculate the damages you are entitled to.
That’s why you need the help of a skilled and experienced car accident lawyer to assist you with this process. They understand the legal arguments to make to best present your case. They also know how to find the right professionals to help you make those arguments to the court or the at-fault driver.
Types of Fault in Florida Car Accident Cases
When it comes to assigning fault in most car accident cases, there are three ways to do it:
- Contributory negligence
- Comparative fault (also called modified comparative fault)
- Pure comparative fault
A state with contributory negligence will not allow a plaintiff to recover anything if they have any level of fault in causing the accident. This means a defendant who is 99% responsible for the accident will get away with paying nothing if the plaintiff is just 1% responsible for the accident.
Comparative fault states allow a plaintiff to recover, but only if the plaintiff’s level of fault is less than a certain percentage. This percentage will depend on the state, but it’s usually 50% or 51%. When allowed to make a recovery, the amount the plaintiff can recover will be reduced by their level of fault.
For instance, if the plaintiff is 55% at fault, they cannot recover anything for their injuries. But if they are 45% at fault and a jury awards them $100,000, the plaintiff can still recover $55,000 in damages.
Pure comparative fault states, such as Florida, will always allow a plaintiff to recover damages, as long as they are not 100% at fault. And the amount they can recover will directly relate to their level of responsibility in causing the accident.
If a plaintiff is 99% at fault, they will still be able to recover from the responsible parties in the accident. But if the plaintiff wins $100,000 in damages, they will only receive $1,000.
Curious About Your Legal Options Following a Car Accident?
If you have sustained injuries from a car accident, you need an experienced lawyer by your side to help you recover everything you’re entitled to under the law.
At Lawlor, White & Murphey, our experienced car accident lawyers are dedicated to determining the car accident cause in your case. This allows us to identify the responsible party and obtain the maximum possible compensation.
To discuss what happened in your car accident case, call or contact our office today to schedule an initial case evaluation. This consultation is completely free, so you have nothing to lose by reaching out to us.
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accident Causes
Eyewitness testimony, road conditions at the accident scene and the state of the vehicles themselves can all provide useful information as to the car accident cause in your case. Despite this, these elements are often far from conclusive. In some cases, we may be able to locate video surveillance footage that can show how the accident actually happened. In others, we can work with accident reconstruction specialists who can testify as to the cause of the accident based on a comprehensive analysis of the scene, vehicles and other factors in your case.
In many cases, you may not know the cause of the accident because it was another driver’s actions that actually caused the accident. Importantly, call the police after the accident so that they can create a formal report of the accident. Take photos and videos of the scene, including the damaged vehicles, and obtain the contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident (including the other drivers).