Determine Who Is At Fault In A Car Accident:

If you have been involved in a car accident in Florida, you may be wondering: Who is responsible for the damages? Determining who is at fault in a car accident can be crucial to a personal injury claim filed after an accident.

Florida is a no-fault state which requires all drivers to carry a personal injury protection (PIP) policy. PIP insurance helps cover medical expenses after an accident up to $10,000 regardless of who is at fault.

However, serious car accident injuries often require extensive medical treatment that may exceed what is covered by PIP insurance. Determining who was at fault in the accident can help identify who is responsible for damages that exceed your PIP policy. Additionally, you may need to determine who is responsible for covering any property damage caused by the accident.

The problem is insurance adjusters will often try to get you to admit fault after an accident to avoid making larger payouts. Having an experienced car accident lawyer on your side can help protect your rights after an accident and ensure you are properly compensated. You can always schedule a free consultation with an attorney following a crash to see what your legal options are.

There are many different types of car accidents and different factors that play into determining fault. Take a look below to learn how fault is determined in different car accident scenarios in Florida or click on the pictures for more information:

Rear-End Collision

A rear-end collision is one of the most common types of car accidents. They are usually not as devastating as other types of collisions but can often lead to whiplash or other spinal injuries. Fault is determined in a rear-end collision by deciding who was negligent in the accident. The fault most often lands with the driver that rear-ended the other vehicle. This is not always the case though. A driver who was rear-ended may be deemed responsible if they slammed on their breaks without warning in fast-moving traffic.

Head-On Collision

Head-on collisions can be the most deadly car accidents. Fault in a head-on collision lies with the driver who breached their duty of care through negligent action. This could be a driver that swerved into oncoming traffic while looking at their phone or fell asleep at the wheel. Any driver that was in their lane and following the rules of the road before the collision will usually be cleared of any responsibility in a head-on car accident.

The victim in a head-on collision does not always survive the accident. This can make proving fault difficult for the family of the victim. A wrongful death lawyer can help seek justice for a loved one that has been killed due to negligence by another driver in a head-on collision.

Backing Into Another Vehicle

It can be difficult to determine who is at fault in an accident where a driver backs up into another vehicle. Fortunately, these accidents seldom lead to serious injury but they can cause pricey property damage. Visibility and the ability to anticipate another driver’s actions can be determining factors when backing into another vehicle. The fault may fall on one party or may be shared with both parties involved.

Multi-Car Accident

Multi-car accidents can be complex and fault may be assigned to more than one party involved. Insurance companies will usually try and determine fault on a case-by-case basis in a multi-car accident. Authorities responsible for determining fault will look at the factors that caused the crash and the actions of each driver involved in the accident.

Hitting A Parked Car

Fault almost always lies with the driver of the moving vehicle when a parked car is hit. A parked car is a stationary object that cannot move out of the way of an oncoming vehicle. This is true even if there was another driver in the parked car at the time of the accident.

However, certain circumstances may lead to others being at fault such as a driver that hit a parked car in an attempt to avoid a pedestrian that walked into the street. If the pedestrian was illegally crossing the street, fault for the accident could be assigned to them.

T-Bone Car Accident

A t-bone car accident occurs when a car drives into the side of another vehicle. This type of accident often occurs as a result of a driver running a red light or stop sign. Fault in a t-bone car accident usually lies with any driver that was disobeying the rules of the road at the time of the accident. This means the driver that ran a red light or a stop sign and caused a t-bone accident would be at fault for the collision.

Sideswipe Accident

Sideswipe accidents are usually the result of a vehicle hitting the side of another vehicle while trying to change lanes. In this situation, the fault typically lies with the driver that was negligent while changing lanes. This could be a driver that did not look to make sure the lane was clear before moving over or failed to put their turn signal on.

Hitting An Animal

Determining fault after hitting an animal with your car depends on the type of animal that was struck. Different rules apply to hitting wild animals, livestock, or domestic animals. Drivers that strike wild animals are almost never considered to be at fault. Vehicle collisions with domestic animals or livestock may lead to the fault being placed on the owner of the animal rather than the driver.

Pedestrian Accident

The presumption with most pedestrian accidents is that the driver was at fault for hitting the pedestrian. However, that is not always true. There is a multitude of reasons a pedestrian accident can occur, often as a direct result of the pedestrian’s actions. A pedestrian may step out in front of a vehicle giving no time for the driver to avoid them or fall into the street while intoxicated. The driver is only at fault if the pedestrian was obeying the laws at the time of the accident.

Open Car Door Is Hit

In an accident where an open car door is hit, the fault almost always lies with the driver or passenger that opened their door. Any person opening a car door is expected to make sure they are safe and clear to do so before proceeding. By failing to make sure there are no oncoming vehicles or objects, the person who opens their door has breached their duty of care to others on the road.


Determining fault after a car accident can often difficult. You don’t want the fault to land on you if the accident was caused by another’s negligence. A car accident attorney can help you understand your legal rights and how fault will be determined after a collision. After a car accident, contact the experienced car accident lawyers at Calandro Law for a free case evaluation today.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, go local. You can contact a Riverview car accident attorney by calling (813) 563-6463.