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Auto Accident Fault and Damages

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Searcy Law Tallahassee is Here for You After an Accident

When you are seriously injured in a car accident, there are two things you need to prove in order to recover just compensation. First, you need to prove that someone else was at fault in the collision. Outside of personal injury protection (PIP), auto insurance only provides fault-based coverage. Second, you need to prove how much you have lost (and how much you will continue to lose) as a result of your accident-related injuries. These losses are referred to as “damages.” In order to prove fault and damages, you need an experienced Tallahassee  accident lawyer on your side.

How Your Tallahassee Accident Lawyer Will Show Fault

In an auto accident, fault can take many different forms. While most accidents are the result of driver error, issues with the road and vehicle maintenance issues and defects can cause dangerous collisions as well. With regard to driver error, some of the most-common forms of fault include:

  • Failure to yield
  • Falling asleep behind the wheel
  • Merging and lane changing errors
  • Road rage
  • Running red lights and stop signs
  • Speeding
  • Tailgating

Outside of driver error (also referred to as driver “negligence”), other potential causes of auto accidents include:

  • Negligent road design, construction or maintenance
  • Negligent vehicle maintenance and repairs
  • Vehicle defects
  • Companies hiring inexperienced and unlicensed drivers
  • Companies forcing their drivers to spend too many hours behind the wheel

In order to prove who (or what company) is at fault in a collision, it is important to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation. This is one of several reasons why car accident victims should contact a Tallahassee auto accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Typical Damages Suffered Due to Auto Accident-Related Injuries

Just as auto accidents can have many different causes, they can also have many different effects. Victims of serious accidents in Tallahassee and elsewhere will often suffer severe injuries that impact all aspects of their lives, and many victims will be forced to live with the consequences of someone else’s mistake for decades to come.

A key aspect of car accident claims is that accident victims are entitled to just compensation for their current and future losses. Accident victims are also entitled to just compensation for their financial and non-financial harm. These are facts that the insurance companies won’t tell you. Future losses and non-financial losses will often make up the majority of accident victims’ compensation, and the only way to accurately calculate these losses is to work with an experienced Tallahassee auto accident attorney. Damages that are recoverable in auto accident insurance claims and litigation include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Prescription costs
  • Other out-of-pocket costs
  • Lost income
  • Lost future earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Loss of companionship, consortium, services and society
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Other forms of non-financial loss

What to Do After a Accident in Tallahassee

Remain Calm

Immediately following a car accident, adrenaline will likely be surging through your body, and emotions will be running high. You need to remain calm and keep your wits about you. Do not get aggressive with the other driver – not only do you want to avoid an altercation, but you also do not want them to become defensive and deny any responsibility for the accident

Contact the Police and a Tallahassee  Accident Lawyer

You should contact the police and report the accident immediately, even if no one appears to be seriously injured or your vehicles are drivable. For one, the police will secure the accident scene and make it safe. More importantly, the police will prepare an accident report that will reflect the details of the accident and the parties involved. It may also indicate who was at fault. The accident report may be critical if you need to pursue a claim later on. Once the report is made, seek legal guidance from a skilled Tallahassee auto accident attorney as soon as possible. You may have several options available to you under the law.

Exchange Insurance and Contact Information with the Other Driver

You will need to get the following information from the other driver: 

  • Name, address, phone numbers, and email address
  • Insurance company, name of insured, and policy numbers
  • Make, model, and color of their vehicle

Most of this information should be reflected on their auto insurance card. Regardless, you should also ask to see their driver’s license just to make their identity and information. If they seem reluctant or unable to produce either of these documents, be sure to get the license plate number of their vehicle and their contact information. 

Document the Scene of the Accident

You should make an effort to document the accident scene to the extent you can. Use your smartphone’s camera to take pictures of the following: 

  • Damage to both vehicles
  • Any injuries you may have suffered
  • Any relevant signage

Take pictures from multiple angles and different perspectives. If you need to make a claim later on, you may need close up photos and pictures that depict the overall scene. An experienced Tallahassee auto accident lawyer can review your images and determine which ones will help build your claim. 

Identify the Witnesses

If there were witnesses to the accident, ask them to provide you with their name and contact information. Because they have no stake in the outcome of the case, their statements can carry a lot of weight and credibility. Let them know that you may be contacting them soon to make a statement. If you need to pursue a claim for your injuries, a Tallahassee auto accident lawyer can help you get their statement. 

Seek Medical Attention

It’s not uncommon for people to feel “fine” immediately after a car accident and decline an ambulance. You should not decline the ambulance if you are seriously injured. However, if you did not receive medical attention at the scene or did not go to the ER immediately after, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. It is not uncommon for accident victims to begin experiencing pain and other symptoms in the days following your accident. 

Discuss Your Case with Our Firm for Free

If you have been seriously injured in an auto accident in Tallahassee, we encourage you to contact us for a free initial consultation. To speak with one of our experienced auto accident lawyers in confidence, call 800-780-8607 or inquire online today.

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Call us: 800-780-8607free initial consultation

Tallahassee

Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, PA Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley Logo The Towle House, 517 N. Calhoun St.
Tallahassee, FL 32301-1231
Toll-free: (888) 549-7011
Phone: (850) 224-7600
En Espanol: (800) 220-7006


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