Even in no-fault states like Florida, it’s not uncommon to hear, “Oh my god, look what you did!” when you get out of a car after a crash. Although you know, it’s not your fault. When it comes to car accident claims, people are often quick to jump into fault even in states where it just doesn’t matter. That doesn’t stop people. Allegations of fault can lead to arguments and even assault, but why is it such a big deal?
People often feel that if they can shift the blame, then that would leave them entirely blameless. That’s far from the truth. Crashes are often the fault of many people in varying degrees. Even if you’re in a crash, you shouldn’t try to shift blame or start an argument about the fault. An attorney in Tampa that handles car accident claims can help you establish fault.
No-Fault Insurance System in Florida
Florida is one of few states that practice “no-fault,” and what that usually means is that insurance companies don’t care. They don’t care if you caused the crash by running a red light, and they don’t care if you were rear-ended while sitting in front of your child’s school. What they do care about is whether you or your passengers were hurt and how bad the damage is to your vehicle.
The thought in implementing this system is that it would reduce the fights, the legal battles, and the effort put into investigations by police in attempting to determine fault. While this is true for many situations, it can go the other way. It can lead to many complaints about the other driver being at fault and not wanting to make an insurance claim because someone hadn’t done anything wrong. Overall, the system often works better than comparative fault systems.
Why Do Drivers Still “Blame” Each Other in Car Accident Claims?
Drivers blame each other based entirely on not wanting to be responsible. No one wants to go home and tell their parents or significant other that they were in a wreck because they ran a red light, or speeding. So instead they change the perspective, and they say that the other driver wasn’t looking, wasn’t paying attention, or was too close to the other car. The issues behind blame can only come down to someone not wanting to take responsibility.
If you were in a wreck, then you should move on. Don’t worry or obsess over fault because most of the time, it won’t make any difference. There are a few instances where the fault will come into play. A drunk driver, wrong-way driver, or suicide driver may be so negligent that it’s unrealistic to not administer or associate some degree of fault. In those cases, you might look into options for civil resolution through a lawsuit.
Can Fault Come Into Play in An Accident Resolution?
Yes, in some situations, accident resolution will require fault to come into view. As in the example above, drunk drivers may have extensive repercussions ahead of them because of their role in a crash. These instances of fault coming into play are almost exclusive to the presence of drugs, alcohol, and falling asleep at the wheel.
These times that come up are often looked at as one-off situations, and to no extent do they go through insurance companies. You would instead take the issue into a civil court and sue the driver. That driver’s insurance may step in, or they may not. It depends on the situation, and in many cases, the insurance companies will only offer limited coverage to their driver if alcohol or drugs were present.
Punitive Damages in Car Accident Claims
Fault becomes the biggest matter of concern when the person decides to go for punitive damages. These are damages awarded to victims of DUIs, and usually, they only happen when the victim purposefully seeks them out.
Can You Contact an Auto Accident Lawyer in Tampa?
Although Florida operates as a no-fault state, that doesn’t mean that handling your insurance company is any easier here than somewhere else. Florida still requires that you report accidents to the DMV and your insurance. That includes single-car accidents or multi-vehicle accidents. The point of reporting this is so that the police, your insurance company, and the DMV can understand how to respond.
Even though there’s nothing that can be done in terms of fault, the police will still write tickets for the traffic violations that resulted in the crash. The DMV will still add points to licenses based on these infractions, and your insurance may up your rates for negligent driving practices.
After your Florida crash, you should reach out to Tampa, Florida accident law office of Winters & Yonker.