What to Do If You Caused an Accident but Didn’t Hit Anything

If You Caused an Accident but Didn’t Hit Anything

If you’re a driver in Florida, it’s easy to feel like the roads are more chaotic and dangerous than ever. Whether you’re on the way to work or just going to the store, it’s common to encounter multiple erratic drivers, drivers neglecting basic traffic laws, and drivers who are just not paying attention. This situation has made it easier than ever for accidents of all kinds to happen — including ones where one of the drivers doesn’t even hit anything.

Whether you swerved to avoid one accident that in turn caused other cars to collide or slammed on the brakes and the cars behind you hit each other, there is a long list of ways to cause an accident without hitting anything yourself. If you find yourself in this position for any reason, regardless of who was at fault, it can be difficult to know what to do.

You may wonder whether or not you can be held liable for the accident and if you owe any damages. This can be a concern even if there was no damage to your vehicle and you suffered no bodily injury.

In Florida, liability is determined by a concept known as comparative negligence. This is where fault in an accident is determined according to how much a motorist contributed to an accident. Establishing comparative negligence in a car accident case requires an accurate determination of the facts. The following guide can help you better understand how comparative negligence works, what to do after an accident, and how an attorney can help.

Comparative Negligence and Liability Explained

In addition to being a no-fault state, where all drivers in an accident are entitled to compensation for medical treatment regardless of fault, Florida is also a state that practices pure comparative negligence. Comparative negligence is a system where the court can assign a proportion of fault for an accident based on circumstances such as negligence or reckless driving. With pure comparative negligence, a person involved in the accident can still recover some percentage of damages even if a judge finds them 99% negligent of an accident.

What this means for someone who caused an accident but didn’t hit anything themselves is that the full facts of the accident are important for determining negligence and liability accurately. There should always be a full investigation into what other drivers were doing and the circumstances that caused the accidents.

Important questions to ask include:

  • Was the crash caused by another driver cutting you off or suddenly changing into your lane?
  • Were other drivers speeding?
  • Was there a failure to observe traffic signals and signs?
  • Did a driver fail to yield right of way and force you to swerve?

Ensuring that any pertinent questions get answered or facts of the case get discovered requires all parties involved in the accident to take the correct steps following the accident.

What You Should Always Do After an Accident

First, no one should ever leave the scene of an accident. Any driver leaving the scene of an accident that may have contributed to the collision should be identified if possible.

The police should always be contacted and a police report should be created if there was any damage. The police can speak to witnesses and build a picture of the accident.

Anyone involved in an accident, even if they didn’t hit anything, should notify their insurance and file a claim. If there is liability or negligence, damages should be paid by the insurance company as much as possible, particularly in a no fault state like Florida. Filing a claim as soon as possible is a key step in this process.

Another important step is to get yourself checked out by a qualified physician. Even if you did not hit anything, accident-related injuries can still occur and have a delayed onset. Getting a diagnosis and treatment can help you stay ahead of pain while also establishing a medical record of the accident.

How an Attorney Can Help If You Caused an Accident But Didn’t Hit Anything

Finally, if you caused an accident but did not hit anything, you need to contact an experienced car accident attorney immediately. Having a lawyer on your side will ensure that the investigation into the accident is conducted fairly and accurately. It is critical to discover any and all factors outside of your actions that contributed to the collision.

Along with obtaining your sworn testimony of the events of the accident, an attorney can perform a thorough investigation that includes obtaining the following:

  • The testimony of additional witnesses
  • Police reports
  • Any photographic or video evidence
  • Evidence-based accident reconstruction

It is important for any liability or comparative negligence assessments to be based on the facts and any pertinent details. Legal representation can help ensure that anything relevant to your case is included.

Reach Out to the Skilled and Experienced Accident Attorneys at Clark Hartpence Law Today

Many things can affect the outcome of a car accident case, especially if there are mitigating factors like you swerved to avoid another accident or you had the right of way. This is why it’s crucial to talk to an experienced and knowledgeable car accident attorney as soon as possible. At Clark Hartpence Law, our team has decades of combined experience helping drivers involved in accidents ensure they are being treated fairly from a legal and liability standpoint.

If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident, call us at (855) 680-4911 or schedule a free consultation.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.