Lawyers’ Strategies for Proving Liability in Car Accident Cases
Proving liability means providing evidence that connects someone’s violation of their duty of care with an accident and your injuries. Evidence can include police reports, witness statements, video footage, and photos. A car accident lawyer can then put that evidence together to create a case for damages for an accident victim. Legal strategies include conducting investigations, enlisting expert witnesses, and exploring the possibility of shared liability to obtain fair compensation.
Evidence Used to Establish Car Accident Negligence
Liability is based on negligence, meaning someone’s action or inaction caused injury. Some examples of negligence:
- Impaired driving
- Distracted driving
- Illegal turns
- Ignoring traffic signs
- Breaking traffic laws
Proving that negligence was involved in your case, and therefore, that the at-fault driver is liable, we can employ the following evidence:
Police Accident Reports
Some police accident reports will cite one party as at fault with a ticket or a criminal charge. Even if no one broke the law, the officer’s notes can indicate who they think caused the crash. Police reports also include observations that help attorneys piece together what occurred and direct us to who is liable and the insurance companies covering them.
However, police reports are sometimes created without full information, so their assignment of liability isn’t the last word. Part of a fort lauderdale car accident lawyer’s strategy in constructing a case is to use police reports as just one part of proving liability.
The role of eyewitnesses in auto accident cases isn’t necessarily to answer every question about a crash but to get yet another perspective on what happened, sometimes from a different angle than anyone else saw.
Video and Photo Evidence
Since almost everyone has a camera phone, and businesses are equipped with security cameras, it’s unsurprising that a strategy employed by auto accident attorneys is to use photos and video. We can use footage and pictures of the accident scene from:
- Traffic cameras
- Nearby business security cameras
- Dash cameras
- Eyewitness cameras
While medical information is often used to illustrate what damages you deserve, did you know these records can also help illustrate liability? Your specific injuries can connect to certain types of accidents, which in turn point to liable parties.
Proving fault in car accidents sometimes requires specialized knowledge. For that, our attorneys enlist the help of:
- First responders
- Product manufacturers
- Reconstruction experts
Who we use as part of our strategy for your case depends on the type of accident. For instance, a truck accident lawyer might enlist the help of industry safety experts who can explain a violation of a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulation. An attorney can determine who to consult in each case.
Determining if Your Case Involves Vicarious Car Accident Liability
Liability in car crash cases is sometimes shared between an employee and their employer. If the driver or another employee caused the accident while working, it could implicate:
- Trucking companies
- Cargo businesses
- Rideshare companies
- Taxi businesses
- Delivery services
- Construction companies
The business doesn’t have to do with transportation. Drivers who were simply using a company car could find that both they and their employer are liable for auto accident injuries.
Proving a Company Is Liable
One way businesses avoid sharing liability with employees is by contracting them instead. For instance, a construction company might claim they aren’t responsible for failing to vet a worker because the worker was a subcontractor. Likewise, some truck drivers are independent contractors, freeing trucking companies from liability. Rideshares avoid responsibility based on how their drivers use their app.
Our law firm can delve into the relationship between an employer and the person who hit you. We can gather:
- Employment records and work contracts
- Timesheets or other evidence that show someone was at work
- App data or transportation logs
- Information on who owns the vehicle involved in the crash
- Insurance coverage details and how they apply to your case
Another strategy for getting damages is investigating other forms of negligence by the company. For instance, even though a trucking company only contracted a driver, they might have loaded the cargo wrong or failed to maintain trucks that they own.
Proving Multiple Parties Liable in a Car Accident
Other legal strategies for financial compensation involve determining the percentage of fault if there’s more than one responsible party.
For example, a texting driver might have hit you, but your injuries were worsened because your brakes failed due to a manufacturer defect. Poor road maintenance by a municipality may have meant that there wasn’t a sign to slow down, causing a speeding motorcyclist to lose control and hit you. We can also assign fault in multi-car accidents.
You can pursue car injury claims or accident lawsuits against each party who caused you harm. Each requires different evidence to highlight different forms of negligence, and each may even have different statutes of limitations. Florida Statutes § 768.28, for example, requires notice of a claim against a municipality in six months versus the two-year deadline for personal injury. Our personal injury attorneys are up to juggling each case.
Call the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato if Hurt by Car Accident Negligence
Contact our team today about your auto accident case to learn what legal strategies we can employ to prove liability. From gathering evidence to exploring vicarious liability, our legal representatives take every step necessary to obtain the damages you deserve. Call (954) 633-8270 now for a free consultation.