A common question law firms hear is, “The person that caused my injury is claiming that it was my fault. What do I do?”
There are multiple strategies to tackle this issue, but it is important to determine the details about what happened in your accident first. The facts matter, not emotions or desires. If you were in a serious accident, and there is confusion about who is at fault, an attorney may be able to help you investigate and identify who may be liable for the accident.
Strengthens Your Case with Evidence
Your legal team may advise you to gather evidence to support your claim. Verbal testimony from eyewitnesses may be collected, but anecdotal evidence alone can often devolve into a person’s word against another’s. Rather, it can be used to help build the narrative of your claim and support other types of evidence you bring.
Phone records can also be used as evidence. For example, someone might claim you are at fault for an accident. However, upon investigating their phone records, we find that they had been texting while driving when the accident occurred. We can use this evidence to refute their claims and argue that their negligence puts them at fault for the accident, not you.
Whether by a cellphone camera, dashcam, or personal camera, it is essential to get any kind of photographic or video evidence from the accident scene. Photos and videos can be used to support your claim and prove where vehicle damage occurred. Vehicle damage may leave marks that can help accident analysts determine how the accident took place.
Your lawyer may collect other types of evidence to build your case.
You May Be Able to Recover Your Damages
Your personal injury attorney may able to help you recover costs for your damages, such as:
- Medical costs
- Mechanic bills, tow yard costs, junkyard bills
- Vehicle replacement value
- Lost wages
- Diminished income potential
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Florida’s Comparative Negligence Law May Affect Your Case
Florida is a comparative fault state. The Florida Statutes § 768.81 dictates that if the claimant was found partially at fault for the accident, their compensation may be reduced by their percentage of fault. You may speak with your legal team about comparative negligence to see how it might pertain to your case.
This is important to note because in other states, such as Virginia, may not allow claimants to collect any awards if they are found at fault at any percentage. However, in Florida, claimants can collect for damages from another at-fault party even if they are found partially at fault.
Statute of Limitations in Florida
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Florida is generally four years. This applies to personal injuries caused by negligence, according to the Florida Statutes § 95.11.
Having a four-year window to file a claim may be beneficial for individuals with complex injuries. Four years allows people with severe injuries to establish a stable medical baseline and fulfill extensive procedures and surgeries, which can be listed under medical costs when claiming damages.
If it is apparent that your injuries may require extensive medical treatments, your lawyer may calculate estimated medical costs to be included in your compensation. Damages cannot be collected after you reach a settlement or the trial is finished, so you will want to consider all future damages and include them in your claim for compensation.
There are other time factors to consider, such as the routine deletion of video camera footage. If you are able to retrieve video footage of your accident before it gets deleted, you stand a chance to gain valuable evidence that bolsters your case. Video footage of the action can really tell the full story, much more than either side may claim happened.
At Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers, our personal injury lawyers understand Florida law and are licensed by the Florida Bar Association. We hope we answered the question, “The person that caused my injury is claiming that it was my fault. What do I do?” If you have more questions, a member of our team can give you a free consultation about your rights at (855) 529-0269.