Vehicle accidents happen in a split second, so it may not be easy to determine who’s at fault. While it may seem obvious to you that the other driver is at fault, the other party probably thinks the same about you. Police reports come in handy when filing a claim with your insurance company or taking the matter to court, but what if the police label you as liable for the accident?
Many often think that this is the end of their car accident claim, but that’s not the case. Police officers are known to make mistakes, especially when it comes to initial findings at the crash scene. They want to clear the scene quickly to avoid more traffic accidents. If the report after your accident claims you were at fault, you still have a case, but you must seek legal representation from an experienced auto accident attorney.
Police Reports Are Not the Last Say
When police respond to an accident in Florida, they gather statements from drivers, passengers, and any other witnesses to the crash. When they write their reports, they can often pinpoint who they believe is responsible based on a quick investigation at the scene.
They mainly base their reports on the state of the vehicles and driver statements. While it may be hard to prove who’s at fault, the responsible driver often knows they caused the crash, meaning they may lie or twist facts to the police.
However, witnesses may later come forward to say that you were not to blame for the accident. Similarly, your car accident attorney can conduct a thorough investigation of the crash to properly assess liability.
Do Car Insurance Companies Rely on Police Reports?
Unfortunately, they do. If you file a claim against the other driver or file one with your insurer, the insurance companies will most likely look at the police report. If it says you are to blame, they’ll most likely deny your claim.
Remember that insurers look to maximize their profits and do everything they can to pay you as little as possible, which is why you need an experienced car accident attorney on your side.
Can I Take My Claim to Court If the Police Report Lists Me at Fault?
Florida law states that police reports are not admissible pieces of evidence in court cases to determine who’s liable for an accident. So you may still be able to win a lawsuit in court by showing proof that you were not responsible. Some ways you can prove the other driver was liable include:
- Speaking to witnesses
- Cell phone records
- Social media timestamps
After an accident, it’s important to remember that police reports are not the last say. Other witnesses may come forward, or your attorney may discover evidence that shows the other driver was at fault.
What Happens If Both Drivers Are Responsible for a Car Accident?
Florida uses comparative negligence, meaning that if the other driver is partially at fault for the accident, a court or insurance representative will reduce their claim. This is important to remember, as it means that you’ll end up having to pay less.
So, for example, if you failed to stop at a stop sign and hit another car, but the other driver was on their phone, you would both most likely share the fault for the accident. In this case, you may be 60% liable, while the other party is 40% responsible. This means that you’d be able to receive up to 40% of your claim.
Reach Out to a Seasoned Car Accident Attorney in South Florida
If the police report blames you for a car accident, hope is not lost, but you must act fast. Insurers look to settle claims quickly, and one wrong move could mean you receive no financial compensation.
At Baker Legal Team, Attorney Robert Baker has over 30 years of experience representing car accident victims. He will launch a full investigation into your case, represent you in court, and handle any settlement negotiations. Don’t jeopardize your financial compensation by giving up because the police reported you to be liable. Call (561) 320-0000 or complete a contact form to schedule your free consultation today!