Sadly, Florida has seen more than 400,000 crashes every year for the last several years, causing 250,000 injuries annually and deaths in the thousands. In 2019, Broward County was witness to 41,114 crashes, causing 23,671 injuries and 214 fatalities. This makes Broward second only to Miami-Dade for the most car accidents in the state, with crash statistics far outnumbering all other counties.
The Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers at Rosen Injury Law, P.A. help car accident injury victims get the medical care they need and the compensation they deserve after being injured in a crash with a reckless, careless or negligent driver. Led by a Florida Board-Certified expert in civil trial law, our firm specializes in car accidents involving the most serious injuries or wrongful death. With five-star customer service and top-quality legal representation, Rosen Injury Law, P.A. is the firm to turn to if you’ve been hurt in a Fort Lauderdale car crash.
After a car accident in Florida, fault is determined by the insurance companies, the attorneys for the parties involved, police officers that visit the scene, and finally, a judge. Determining fault is not always easy, and there are four elements of fault that must be proven. Additionally, multiple parties may be found at fault after a car accident. If you have been involved in a crash, it is important to speak to a Fort Lauderdale accident lawyer that can determine who caused your crash, and hold them liable for paying full damages.
Causes of Car Accidents in Fort Lauderdale
Distracted driving, including especially texting while driving and handheld cell phone use, is a leading cause of car accidents in Fort Lauderdale. After 50 years of declining crash rates, car accidents are back up again, coinciding with the rise in smartphones and social media apps. Texting while driving is illegal in Florida and has been a primary offense since 2019. Police officers started issuing citations in 2020, but it’s too early to tell whether this stepped-up enforcement will help change drivers’ behaviors and end their compulsion to read and answer texts and tweets behind the wheel.
Drunk driving is another leading cause of car accidents in Fort Lauderdale that just won’t seem to go away. Broward County experienced 170 drug or alcohol confirmed crashes in 2019, causing 89 injuries and 28 needless deaths from this entirely preventable type of accident.
Careless, negligent, reckless, aggressive and just plain bad driving are responsible for the rest of the car accidents that didn’t have to happen had people simply been better drivers. The most common bad driving behaviors resulting in crashes include following too close, failing to signal, failing to check blind spots, failure to yield the right-of-way, failing to obey stop signs and traffic signals, and failing to adjust driving according to the applicable weather, traffic and road conditions.
What Happens if I’m Injured in a Crash?
Florida drivers are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance to cover their damages in case of a crash. This no-fault insurance will cover your medical bills and help out with lost income when you are hurt in a crash, regardless of who was at fault. PIP benefits are limited, however. They only cover 80% of reasonable and necessary medical expenses and 60% of lost wages if you missed work due to the crash and subsequent recovery. The basic PIP policy covers these partial expenses up to $10,000 before the policy limits are reached. However, if you failed to receive treatment for an emergency medical condition within 14 days of the accident, your PIP coverage can be limited to only $2,500 total.
Florida law allows people who suffered a serious injury to “step outside” of the no-fault scheme and sue the at-fault driver on a civil negligence claim. A “serious injury” under Florida car accident law means one of the following:
- A significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function,
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement,
- A permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, or
If successful on a personal injury claim, you can recover the full amount of medical expenses and lost income, as well as money damages for harm such as pain and suffering, mental anguish and emotional distress. To be successful, though, you have to be able to prove the other driver was at fault and caused your injuries, and you have to be able to prove your injuries as well. These facts will either have to be proven to the insurance company or a jury, depending on whether your case settles out of court or goes to a jury verdict.
Rosen Injury Law, P.A. is expert in building cases that prove these facts, while also standing up to challenges from the insurance company that your injuries aren’t serious or your own negligence was involved. They do this to avoid paying or reduce the amount they owe, but with a skilled and effective attorney on your side, you’ll get the best result available. Rosen Injury Law, P.A. provides the level of skill you need, as evidenced by attorney Eric Rosen’s certification as a specialist in Florida civil trial law, as well as the long list of significant verdicts and settlements he has achieved.
The Elements of Proof when Determining Fault in Fort Lauderdale
You must prove four important elements of your case when determining who was at fault for your car accident. These are as follows:
- Duty: The at-fault driver owed a duty of care to the accident victim to act in a reasonable manner that would keep everyone safe.
- Breach of duty: The at-fault driver breached their duty of care, either by a careless or negligent act, or intentional wrongdoing.
- Causation: You must show the direct link between the negligent act and the accident that caused your injuries.
- Damages: Personal injury claims are intended to compensate you for any losses, or damages, you sustained as a result of the accident. If you cannot prove you were injured, there is nothing to compensate you for and so, there is no claim.
A car accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale can help you determine who was at fault for the accident, and hold them accountable for paying the full damages you deserve.
Important Evidence when Determining Fault in Fort Lauderdale
Evidence is crucial to your case and can help you prove someone else was at fault. The most important evidence in your case may include:
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Police reports
- Expert witness statements
- Video and photo evidence from the scene
- Reports of property damage
A police officer may indicate who is at fault within their report but that is not always a deciding factor. A Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer will sometimes use accident reconstruction experts to determine exactly how the crash occurred and who is the responsible party.
Comparative Negligence when Determining Fault
It is important to know that multiple parties can be found at fault for a car accident. When that is the case and you were partly to blame for a crash, you can still recover compensation for your injuries. However, the amount you receive will be reduced by your same percentage of fault. Florida recognizes pure comparative negligence, so you can still file a claim even if you were 99 percent at fault for a crash.
Help With Fort Lauderdale Car Accidents
If you were in a crash, our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer at Rosen Injury Law, P.A. has the necessary experience to determine who was at fault and hold them accountable for paying the full damages you deserve. Call us today at 954-787-1500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.