How is Fault Determined in a Multi-Car Accident in Tampa?
Multi-car accidents have become a regular occurrence on Tampa, FL roads. You have likely been stuck in traffic due to such an accident. As you drive by the accident scene, you wonder what caused the accident. In accidents involving several cars, proving who was at fault in multi-car accident can be tough. It may not be immediately clear who is liable or whose insurer will cover medical bills and property damage. Accident reconstruction, witness statements, talks between the different drivers and their insurance companies can unearth who is to blame. This process can be long and complex. That’s why you need to hire a Tampa car accident lawyer. They will ensure you don’t get more than your share of blame for the multi-car accident. If found to be partly to blame for the accident you might not be able to get compensation. It is best you talk to a lawyer immediately to protect yourself from such claims from the drivers at fault.
How Will a Tampa Car Accident Attorney Determine Who is At Fault in a Multi-Car Accident?
An auto accident attorney in Tampa will conduct an investigation into your accident to get the facts. One of the first things they may do is get an accident reconstructionist to the accident scene. The reconstructionist will try to come up with a clear picture of what happened. The earlier they get on the scene, the better. You don’t want to lose key evidence such as skid marks or debris. The lawyer will also get a police accident report. Following your accident, police were likely called to the scene. On getting to the scene, they carried out their investigations. They inspected vehicles in the crash, took photographs and talked to witnesses. The information they gather will be contained in the police report they write. The report is therefore vital in determining who is at fault in a multi-car accident. The report will contain:
- The estimated time, date and location of the accident
- The names, contacts and insurance details of parties involved in the car accident
- The contact details of witnesses
- The damage to vehicles involved in the collision
- The weather conditions, state of the road and lighting of car accident area if the crash happened at night
- A diagram of the accident
- The statements given to the investigating officer by the drivers of vehicles involved and witnesses
- The officer’s opinion on the cause of the accident and party at fault
From the report, your lawyer can know if drivers were speeding, distracted, drunk or driving in poor weather conditions. The information in a police report can determine if the insurance companies of negligent drivers settle quickly or not. In situations where multiple parties were at fault, it gets really complicated. Each driver may be apportioned a level of fault and this will affect their claims.
Other ways to find out who was at fault in a multi-crash accident are:
- Using closed-circuit television
- Using medical reports. Injuries can point to whether an accident was due to a rear-end collision, a speeding vehicle and so on.
- Examining the condition of the first vehicle in the accident. If it had mechanical issues, the driver can be at fault.
What Defense Will an Auto Accident Lawyer in Tampa Expect from a Reckless Driver in a Multi-Car Accident?
The insurance company of the driver or drivers at fault will definitely try to get out of paying you damages. To do this they will likely argue:
- Comparative negligence. You should expect the defendant to try to say you contributed to your injuries. Under Tampa, FL law if you are 10% to blame for an accident, your compensation will reduce by that 10%. If found to be more than 50% at fault, you get no compensation.
- Unforeseeable emergency. The driver could claim something unavoidable caused the accident. This could be a tree falling onto the road or someone jumping into traffic causing the driver to swerve.
- Act of God. They can say an event like a natural disaster caused the accident.
- Car mechanical issues which the driver could not have known about before the accident.
Contact Winters & Yonker Tampa Car Accident Lawyers if You’ve Been Involved in a Car Accident.
Following a car accident, your focus is more on recovering from your injuries than filing a lawsuit. That’s why we advise that you contact a Tampa personal injury attorney at Winters & Yonker once you get medical treatment for your injuries. Our Tampa auto accident attorneys will help you get compensation from the parties at fault in a multi-car accident. Call us at (813) 223-6200 for a free consultation. Our lawyers have handled many multi-car collisions and know how to deal with the complexities associated with them.