In almost any road collision (bike, truck, bus, motorcycle or car accidents), it is important to prove who was negligent and caused the accident. In most cases, this is the person who will be held liable.

In many cases, you will only need common sense to determine who was at fault. Unfortunately, when a person is involved in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, the insurance companies are going to need more proof in order to pay the compensation a victim deserves for their pain and suffering.

Here is a quick list of steps to establish who was at fault when you are the victim:

  • Police report: Make sure the officer fills one out. If the accident involved the other driver breaking the law, then make sure the officer issues a citation to the negligent party. This can help greatly when the time comes for an insurance company to decide if and how much they will pay the victim.
  • Take pictures: Take pictures of everything, i.e., the road conditions, skid marks, auto damage, cars positions before they are moved, and any other property damage.
  • Witnesses: Get their names and contact information. You should also write down what they saw. People will forget things, so writing down their statements will help later if they forget something. What seems like small details now may be incredibly important later.
  • Seek medical attention: That “banged up” feeling that you are tough enough to take can be much more serious when you wake up tomorrow morning and the adrenaline has worn off. There are multiple types of car accident injuries that are not felt until up to 24 hours later. Seeing a doctor or going to the hospital will allow you to know what your actual condition is. You will also have medical documentation that will be valuable later in your case.


There are certain types of car accidents where it will almost always be the fault of one of the drivers and not the other. When one of these accidents happen, insurance companies will rarely argue over who did it, not put up a fight about paying and will attempt to settle immediately. This sounds great, but because the insurance company’s job is to pay out as little as possible, the victim of the accident often accepts a payment that is far less than what they could have had if they hired an attorney. Before talking to the insurance company, contact our Fort Lauderdale accident firm and we will gladly give you a free consultation so you can tell us the details and get a better understanding of what you are agreeing to with the insurance company before you actually agree to it.

Some examples of No-Fault car accidents include:

  • Rear-End Accident: If you are hit from behind, it is almost always going to be the other vehicle’s fault. Why is this car crash scenario a no-brainer for insurance companies? The damage on the backend of your vehicle and the front end of the other car leaves little room to argue. The negligent driver can still be held liable even if they claim the car ahead of them stopped suddenly. This is because the basic roads of the rule state you must keep a safe following distance that will allow you to break on time in case this scenario were to happen.
  • Left-Turn Accident: If a car making a left turn collides with another vehicle that is going straight in the other direction, then the car making the left will almost always be held liable for the accident. This close to automatic rule does have a small few exceptions that include: a) the car going straight was traveling well above the speed limit b) the car going straight went through a red light c) the car making the left turn began moving when it was safe, but then something unexpected made the driver slow down or stop.


The car accident attorneys of Madalon Law handle cases in Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and the entire State of Florida.

Car Accident Negligence


In the majority of auto accident cases, determining who was at fault is the key issue. This can also be the difference between getting the financial compensation you deserve for the property damage and injuries you sustained – and getting nothing.

Negligence is when a person fails to take the proper care in doing something or they fail to use reasonable care and the carelessness results in damage or injury to another. In an auto accident, a person could be negligent by doing something they should not have done while driving.


Because we spend so much time behind the wheel, it is easy to become desensitized to the true dangers and risks involved when operating a vehicle. Maybe a person can feel that reading a text is not as dangerous as typing one out. Or taking a photo for Instagram is not as dangerous as typing out and posting a status update on Facebook.

As people get increasingly comfortable using their smartphones, they are relying entirely way too much on peripheral vision. The fact is the dangers of an auto accident crash or death increase dramatically when a person is texting or using their smartphone while operating a vehicle.


Here are just a few examples of reckless and negligent driving that we commonly see:

  • Driving while under the influence or driving while intoxicated
  • Driving a vehicle over the speed limit
  • Changing lanes in an unsafe manner and/or without using a turn signal
  • Driving fatigue or driving drowsy
  • Applying makeup or looking in the mirror while driving
  • Eating food and drinking while driving
  • Texting and driving
  • Talking on the phone while driving
  • Checking emails
  • Social network surfing while driving
  • Vehicle defects and malfunctions that resulted due to insufficient maintenance.
  • Failing to yield or stop for traffic or a pedestrian
  • Running a red light


In a car accident lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant (the person being sued) was negligent in the accident. The law requires all drivers to be careful when on the road with anyone they encounter – passengers, people in other vehicles and pedestrians. This is called the “duty of reasonable care”. When someone shows carelessness that causes an accident or injury, they are considered to be violating or breaching the duty of care. The law determines if this happens by comparing a person’s actions to what a reasonable and careful person would have done in the same situation.


If you have been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, then you need to contact a law firm that is familiar with these types of cases and understands the proper approach in determining the negligent party. Contact the Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys at Madalon Law today for your free consultation and tell us about your accident so we can explain your options to you.  Our Broward accident attorneys fight for the rights of the injured throughout the State of Florida.

Expert Testimony and Computer Simulations Can Be Used to Determine Liability

Coddington v. Nunez, 2D12-1152, 2013 WL 4734042 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. Sept. 4, 2013)

This case is out of an automobile accident that occurred in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Thomas Coddington and his wife were heading north on 21st street when Mr. Coddington stopped his car at a stop sign at 21st street and 30th North. As he turned left onto 30th ave. his car struck a vehicle driven by Mr. Nunez as it approached from Coddington’s left. The force of the collision caused Nunez’s car to spin around and hit a palm tree before coming to complete stop. Nunez was thrown from the vehicle suffering serious injuries as a result. At trial Nunez alleged that Coddington caused the crash by coming into his lane as he was approaching. Coddington raised 2 defenses. One that Nunez was speeding over the 35 mph speed limit and two that Nunez wasn’t wearing a seat contributing to his injuries.

Coddington sought to introduce the opinion testimony of their expert James Wheeler to prove that Nunez was speeding and display the movement of Nunez body in the vehicle. Wheeler used a computer program, to reconstruct the accident and testified that the program was based on the laws of physics. By entering the weights and distances the vehicles traveled after the collision, the program could determine the speed the vehicles were traveling at the time of the impact. A video simulation was created based on the data entered. Based on Wheeler’s use of the program he was prepared to testify in his opinion that Nunez was speeding at 57 mph at the moment he collided with Coddington. Wheeler also used the program to contradict Nunez’s expert testimony that the crash caused him to thrust into the vehicle console causing his seatbelt to disengage. By entering Nunez’s height and weight into the program, Wheeler testified that the Nunez would have been pushed away from the console. Nunez convinced the trial court to exclude the simulation from the trial and stopped Wheeler from giving his opinion testimony as to Nunez’s speed and theory on Nunez’s seat belt based on 3 reasons.

  1. The prejudice of showing the simulation outweighed the probative value.
  2. Wheeler’s methods were not generally accepted in the engineering community.
  3. Those methods would more probably than not result in an unreliable result and any opinion based on a computer simulation would be unreliable.

On appeal the court reversed the judgment that attributed only 25% of liability to Nunez in his favor awarding him $488,500. Although the court affirmed the exclusion of the simulation, it reversed the exclusion of Wheeler’s opinion on Nunez’s speed and body movement inside the vehicle during the accident. The court reasoned that the opinions were formed using scientifically accepted calculations and rejected Nunez’s argument that the calculations were unreliable. The court reasoned that because types of computer simulation programs have been used in all types of accidents to determine speed and that specific features of this accident did not invalidate the conclusion rendered by the simulation. The court concluded that Wheelers testimony contradicting Nunez’s assertion that he was wearing a seat belt would have only rebutted that assertion based on the laws of physics.

This case carries an important message that enlisting the best experts who can gather and provide the best scientific evidence possible can affect assigning liability in an accident you are involved in. The best way to fight a case and seek the compensation that is deserved is to enlist only the best experts that use the state of the art technology to fight for you. If you of a loved one have been injured in an accident, it is imperative that evidence of negligent conduct of others is still intact so our experts can provide you with the best case possible. Don’t wait for your case to weaken. Contact the Fort Lauderdale accident attorneys of Madalon Law and let us answer your questions at no cost. We provide a free consultation for all Florida accident victims.