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How to Dispute Car Accident Fault - Jones Law Group

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How to Dispute Car Accident Fault

It’s not fair, of course, but it’s almost inevitable. You’ve suffered a severe injury in a car accident, and you know it wasn’t your fault. But the insurance company doesn’t care. Since they only prioritize their bottom line, they’re not interested in doing what’s right. The insurer will do everything it can to pay as little as possible.

They’ll probably try to shift blame to you so they don’t have to pay you a dime. But you don’t have to take that treatment. You can fight for your rights to get the money you deserve. The best way to do that will be to hire an experienced Jones Law Group attorney as soon as possible.

The following is a look at how to fight the insurance company when they try to deny your rightful compensation. If you would like to learn more about how we can help, contact us online or call (727) 571-1333 for a free consultation.

Who Determines Fault in a Car Accident Case?

When a car wreck leads to a severe injury, the 911 dispatcher typically sends a police officer to the scene. The officer will ask the drivers involved in the accident questions as part of their investigation. If there were any witnesses, they’d ask them what they saw.

They’ll take all of the information and the physical evidence into account when filing their police report. This report will be critical because it will give the officer’s opinion about who was to blame.

But the insurance company will also investigate, as will your personal injury attorney. They’ll work to collect the evidence it takes to make their respective cases as strong as possible.

You should know that Florida is a no-fault state. Your insurer will pay for your accident-related expenses whether or not you were to blame. Motorists in Florida have to have PIP (personal injury protection) insurance. But this coverage only pays so much. It very likely won’t pay for all of your losses or damages.

That’s why the investigation is so important. If you can prove the other driver was at fault, you can sue them for the money that will pay for the expenses your insurance won’t cover.

Disputing Fault in a Car Accident Case

If it hasn’t happened already, be prepared for the at-fault driver’s insurer to deny your claim. They may argue you were the one responsible for the accident. But, again, you don’t have to simply accept what they say. These are just a few of the ways you can dispute that decision.

Notify the Insurance Company that You Disagree

You should contact the insurer as quickly as possible to tell them you disagree with their determination of fault. Send an email so you have evidence you’re disputing their decision. Be as specific as possible regarding the evidence that supports your side. Remember to keep copies of all correspondence because you’ll need them if you file a lawsuit.

Use the Insurance Company’s Process to File a Dispute

Every insurance company has a process to dispute the determination of fault. You’ll probably have to provide the insurer with a written statement and then support that statement with evidence. This is another area where your attorney can help. They can take care of this for you so you can focus on recovering from your injury. Nobody needs to go through all of that hassle.

If you choose to provide a statement, however, be careful. You don’t want to say anything the insurer could use against you. It will be much better if you have a lawyer do this instead.

Amending a Police Report

As stated earlier, the police report is a critical piece of evidence. But that doesn’t mean it’s always 100% correct. Police officers are just like everyone else. They make mistakes. You can ask for an amendment if you see mistakes in the report. You’ll need to show evidence proving the officer was wrong. If the police department refuses to amend the report, you must call an attorney.

Evidence to Prove Fault

We can’t overstate the importance of solid evidence when disputing fault in a car accident. These are just a few types of evidence you’ll need.

  • Eyewitness statements: There’s an excellent chance someone saw how the accident took place. If you can, try to gather eyewitness contact information. Your attorney will interview them later to get their account of what happened.
  • Videos and photos: If you can get photos of the accident scene, that could make a significant difference in your case. Also, your attorney may be able to obtain footage from any nearby cameras that might have caught the accident as it happened.
  • Medical records: You need to get medical help, even if you think you’re fine. Not only will it help you recover faster, but it will also show proof that you suffered an injury.
  • Expert witnesses: In some cases, an accident reconstruction expert may be able to recreate the accident and provide a more accurate determination of fault.

Receiving Compensation Even if You’re At Fault for the Car Accident

You might have done something to contribute to the accident. Because of this, you might assume you can’t obtain any compensation. However, that’s not the case. You could still receive money even if you’re partly to blame.

Modified Comparative Fault in Florida

How can this be possible? As long as you’re not 51% or more to blame for the wreck, you can still receive money for your accident-related damages.

As of March 24, 2023. Florida became a “modified comparative negligence” state. This means you can recover damages according to the amount of blame. For example, if an investigation shows you were 20% at fault, you’ll receive 80% of your damages. Suppose your expenses total $100,000. You’ll get $80,000 instead.

There’s a big difference between modified and pure comparative negligence, which is the system Florida previously followed. Previously, a person could still obtain compensation even if they shouldered most of the blame. But now, if you’re 51% or more at fault, you won’t be eligible for any money.

Contact Jones Law Group for Help

The attorneys with Jones Law Group are standing by to help if you want to dispute the insurance company’s determination of fault. Schedule a free case evaluation by contacting us online or calling (727) 571-1333.

Heath Murphy

About the Author

Heath Murphy is a partner at Jones Law Group and focuses on personal injury law. He has been working as a lawyer for 18 years and routinely writes about auto accidents, wrongful death, and personal injury laws.

Read more: Heath’s Bio