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Auto Accident

Can an Insurance Company Determine Fault when the Police Say No One Was to Blame?

Can an Insurance Company Determine Fault when the Police Say No One Was to Blame?

By | Auto Accident, Car Accidents | No Comments

Determining fault is at the heart of any car accident that involves injuries and property damage. It’s typically the first question that is asked after a vehicle collision. The answer that is determined can have a dramatic effect on the parties involved in the accident, including whose insurance will cover damages and repairs, and whether there is someone who is subject to citations, fines, or even criminal liability. So, what happens when the police who respond to an accident don’t issue any tickets, and they don’t assign fault to a specific driver?

How Police Determine Fault of a Car Accident

When the police respond to the scene of a car accident, they are responsible for creating a report about what occurred. They will interview the parties involved in the accident, as well as any witnesses who saw it happen, to attempt to piece together how the accident occurred. When they have determined that they have enough information, they will turn the report in to their department.

The report that the police file may contain a statement about who is at fault for the accident based on their professional opinion. But, many police reports detailing car accidents do not include a determination of who is at fault. It’s also important to keep in mind that even when they do state who they believe caused the accident, it doesn’t mean that driver will automatically be held legally responsible for the damages in a claim.

The police who respond to an accident may or may not issue citations to one or more of the drivers involved. While this holds those who are given citations to the responsibility of appearing in traffic court, it doesn’t necessarily prove who will be found liable in a car accident lawsuit. However, citations that are issued may be used as evidence that the driver was negligent, and they may play a part in the insurance company’s determination of fault.

How Insurance Companies Determine Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident

Ultimately, the insurance companies of the parties involved in the accident will make a determination of fault. An insurance adjuster will be assigned to the claim, and will oversee an investigation into how the accident happened. There is usually more than one adjuster involved, as each insurance company has their own. They research the accident, talk to witnesses, review any medical reports, assess vehicle damage, verify coverage, and come to a conclusion about who was at fault.

At this point, there is sometimes an agreement that is made between the insurance companies to assign partial fault to each driver. Otherwise, one is determined responsible and their insurer will make a settlement offer to the other affected parties.

The problem is, insurance companies are not always right, and they are always looking out for the best interests of their company over the best interests of the insured. That is why consulting an auto accident attorney for any accident is important. Your attorney will perform an independent investigation of your accident and determine how best to proceed with your case.

Get Help from an Auto Accident Lawyer

If you are involved in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Insurance companies will not always provide you with the best representation, which is why you need to find the right car accident lawyer to handle your case. Contact Boca Raton car accident attorney Joe Osborne at (561) 296-2600 or complete the online contact form to get the ball rolling on your claim.

Reasons the Other Driver's Insurer Won't Pay

Reasons the Other Driver’s Insurer Won’t Pay

By | Auto Accident, bicycle accidents, Car Accidents, Driver's Insurer | No Comments

You are driving at a legal speed, obeying traffic laws and signals, when another vehicle crashes into yours. The accident is clearly the other driver’s fault, so you would assume that his insurance company would pay for your medical and car repair expenses. However, that isn’t always the case. Car accident cases can be much more complicated than you would think, and there are times that insurance companies refuse to pay. That is why it is always in your best interest to consult an accident attorney immediately following any car wreck like the law office https://realtoughlawyers.com/

Instances When an Insurer May Refuse to Pay

Even though the fault of your car accident may seem obvious, there are still some circumstances in which the other driver’s insurer may refuse to pay for your expenses. The following are five such instances:

 The Other Driver Had a Sudden Medical Event

It isn’t as uncommon as you may think for at-fault drivers to use the defense that they had a sudden, incapacitating medical event that caused them to lose control of their vehicle resulting in an accident. It is true that a driver may not be held liable if he or she had a sudden emergency – like a stroke or heart attack – provided that there wasn’t enough of a warning to safely exit traffic. However, the driver could be found negligent, and therefore liable, if it’s determined that he or she should not have been driving with the medical condition, or that he or she neglected to take care of the medical condition prior to driving.

 The Other Driver Hits Your Car After Being Involved in a Hit-and-Run

Consider this scenario: there is a truck that is hauling furniture that loses a couch off the back of the vehicle. This causes the car next to you to swerve and crash into your car. The furniture truck is oblivious (or not) and keeps going with no one obtaining the license plate number.

Your damages for this type of accident may require that you utilize your own uninsured motorist coverage. However, there may also be times that you have a legitimate claim against the driver of the other car. It’s hard to know without the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney.

A First Responder Hits Your Car on the Way to An Emergency Call

When a fire truck, ambulance, police car, or other first responder is racing to an emergency and hits your vehicle, it can be tough to prove negligence. In fact, it is usually a case where gross negligence has to be proven on the driver’s part, not just negligence – especially if the emergency vehicle had lights and sirens going. Anytime you file a claim against a government entity, there are a lot of hoops to jump through, and the standard for proving liability in these types of cases is much higher than that of a regular car accident.

Another Driver Hits a Deer, Loses Control and Hits Your Car

There are some instances where a car accident it truly that – an accident where no one is at fault. This may be the case when an animal suddenly jumps out in front of a car causing it to crash into another vehicle. However, there are also times when such an event occurs and there is some fault on the part of the other driver. For example, if the other driver hit the deer because he was speeding and unable to brake fast enough causing a crash with your car, then he may be held liable for your damages.

You Are Hit by a Thief Driving a Stolen Vehicle

While this may seem like a fairly unlikely possibility, it does happen. Because insurance policies cover the car owner and other licensed drivers who have permission to drive the vehicle, and there is no consent when a car thief takes the car, the car owner’s insurance company will refuse to pay your damages. However, there are cases where the car owner could be held partially at fault. For example, if he left the keys in the car with the engine running, he could be found partially to blame.

Seek Help from An Experienced Attorney

The above types of accidents are complicated, and they require representation from an experienced car accident attorney to resolve favorably. If you or a loved one has been involved in any car accident, contact Boca Raton personal injury lawyer Joe Osborne at (561) 296-2600 or complete the online contact form to discuss your case and determine how to proceed.

 

What Should You Do After a Car Accident?

What Should Florida Car Accident lawyers – DO’S AND DON’TS ?

By | Auto Accident, Car Accidents | No Comments

Boca Raton car accident attorney discusses what drivers should and shouldn’t do following a car accident.

Boca car accident lawyer, Joe Osborne, recently shared advice about what drivers should and shouldn’t do when they have been involved in a car accident.recently shared advice about what drivers should and shouldn’t do when they have been involved in a car accident. To Learn  More about Car Accident Check Full Article Here

Car Accidents with Uber or Lyft

Car Accidents with Uber or Lyft Can Be Complicated Says Boca Car Accident Lawyer Joe Osborne

By | Auto Accident, Car Accidents | No Comments

Whether you are a passenger in an Uber or Lyft car or the other vehicle involved in the accident, things can get very complicated regarding the insurance and claims process, says Boca car accident lawyer Joe Osborne.

Because the industry of ride-sharing is still fairly new, insurance companies are still working to make sure that their policies involve some type of provision for ride-sharing coverage and options. Additionally, laws and requirements for ride-sharing companies are continually evolving and changing as they are becoming more ubiquitous.

What Exactly is a Rideshare Company?

Rideshare companies, like Uber and Lyft, are also called Transportation Network Companies (TNC). They provide drivers-for-hire sharing services to customers by contracting with freelance drivers who drive their own cars to transport customers. These contracted drivers typically do not go through the same type of training and scrutiny that other for-hire drivers (cab drivers, chauffeurs, etc.) go through, and they are not required to insure or register their cars as commercial vehicles. TNCs provide cab-like services that allow passengers to arrange for rides on short notice with a smartphone application.

The typical way that rideshare companies work involves three elements:

  1. A customer uses a smartphone to request a ride, set a pickup and drop-off location.
  2. The driver uses GPS to navigate and for the app to track and calculate a cost for the route.
  3. The customer uses a social media-like platform to rate the driver for other potential passengers so they know what to expect.

While there are similarities between taxis and rideshare vehicles, they don’t operate the same way. A taxi is nearly always on the road, traveling as much as 70,000 miles a year, whereas rideshare vehicles are on the road considerably less. Some rideshare drivers drive part-time, while others make it a full-time job. The rideshare apps insist that their businesses are just what an app entails – a technological start-up that is simply the middleman between a passenger and a driver, not a commercial vehicle-for-hire entity.

What Happens When There is an Accident Involving Uber or Lyft?

This is where it gets sticky. In the recent past, there have been a few bills that were signed into law that regulate the way that companies like Uber and Lyft are insured. Commercial vehicles must be covered through strict insurance policies that are governed by the state in which they are operated, but until recently, Uber and Lyft were not required to maintain that same requirement because of their modern business structure. However, due to the pressure the companies received about the growing number of accidents across the country, both Uber and Lyft adopted insurance coverage that kicks in once a driver has accepted and picked up a passenger.

It may seem that the problem has been solved. But it hasn’t. What has happened is different states have passed bills and signed legislation that questions the time frames for which rideshare drivers are covered by company insurance and at what times they are not. While laws and insurance policies are in flux, it is in passengers’ and other drivers’ best interest to work with a seasoned and knowledgeable car accident attorney if they are injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle.

If you or a family member were injured in an auto accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle in Florida, contact Boca Raton car accident lawyer Joe Osborne at (561) 293-2600 or complete the online contact form. You can discuss your case, how the law may apply and your best legal options to protect your rights and obtain compensation for your injuries.

Other Resources for you:

  1. Learn about The Most Accidents are at Intersections Warns Boca Car Accident Lawyer Joe Osborne
    in our previous blog post
  2. Read our blog post:  The Most Dangerous Highways are in FL Says Boca Car Accident Lawyer Joe Osborne

 

Press Contact:

Joe Osborne personal injury lawyer

(561) 293-2600