Sometimes Florida traffic investigators get the facts wrong. Can you still make a claim for personal injuries if you are in a car accident and the police says you're at fault?
Police reports are important but not the final word
In Florida, police officers or traffic investigators respond to car accident scenes to gather statements from the drivers. They make sure everyone is safe and they exchange insurance and contact information. In that way, the police and traffic investigators serve a very important and vital function on our roads.
When police or investigators write their reports, they often find one of the parties to the accident at fault based upon brief investigations at the scene. The investigators' decisions are based on evidence such as the vehicle damage, the position of the vehicles after impact, skid marks, and witness statements. However, what if one of the drivers lie about what happened? What if you were so injured that you were taken to the hospital in an ambulance and were unable to tell your side of the story? Sometimes the police reports point the finger at the wrong person.
Car insurance companies rely on police reports
If you were injured in an accident and you hire a lawyer and you make a claim against the other driver's insurance company, they will immediately take a look at the police report. If the police report is unfavorable to you or finds you at fault, they will almost certainly deny your claim. Thus, if the police report finds you at fault for the accident, then it will be more difficult for you to settle your injury claim.
But all is not lost.
Police reports don't always hold up in Court
Under Florida law, police reports are not admissible as evidence at trial to prove that someone in the accident was at fault. What does that mean for you? It means that you may still be able to win a case at trial by presenting evidence showing that you were not entirely at fault for the accident! In short, the police report is not binding on your case.
Many car accident lawyers shy away from taking cases when their client is at fault in the police report. However, if you truly feel that you were not at fault for the accident, and you were injured as a result, you deserve compensation. That is what the justice system is all about.