Common Car Accident Scenarios - Causes & Determining Fault

Car accidents in Stuart, Florida, can happen in many ways, and every crash is unique. While fault is sometimes easy to determine, some accident scenarios are more complicated and require thorough investigation to determine fault. 

With 80 years of combined experience,  Kibbey Wagner Injury & Car Accident Lawyers Stuart has seen it all. We can help by investigating your accident, gathering evidence to prove liability, and seeking fair compensation. Contact our law offices in Stuart, FL, at (772) 444-7000 if you need legal help.

Below are common car accident scenarios and causes we frequently encounter and examples of evidence a Stuart car accident lawyer may use to establish fault.

How Kibbey Wagner Injury & Car Accident Lawyers Stuart Can Help With Your Case

How Kibbey Wagner Injury & Car Accident Lawyers Stuart Can Help With Your Case

After a traumatic and overwhelming car accident, the last thing you should be worried about is dealing with insurance and defending yourself against blame-shifting tactics. A Stuart car accident lawyer can help you seek the compensation you deserve while you focus on your health. 

Since 2014, Kibbey Wagner Injury & Car Accident Lawyers Stuart has recovered more than $200 million on behalf of our clients. Our attorneys have earned local and national recognition, including inclusion in Florida Super Lawyers and membership in The National Trial Lawyers Top 100. 

When you hire our law firm to represent you in your Stuart, FL, car accident case, you can expect us to: 

  • Fight back against insurance company tactics
  • Protect your rights and best interests
  • Negotiate on your behalf for a fair settlement
  • Identify parties that may be liable for your damages
  • Gather evidence and work with experts when needed to build a strong case
  • Present your case to a jury if necessary

Our law office is ready to put more than 80 years of combined experience to work on your behalf. Call our office today to arrange a free consultation with a Stuart car accident attorney to discuss your case and how we can help.

Types of Crashes and Car Accident Scenarios

Before even getting to the cause of the crash, the type of accident itself can be evidence of who was likely at fault. The type of crash may also determine what type of evidence your car accident lawyer will seek to build your case.

Rear-End Collisions

Drivers have a duty to maintain sufficient space between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them to stop safely. A driver who rear-ends another car is usually at fault for the accident, but not always. Sometimes, the lead driver is partially or completely at fault. 

Under the modified comparative negligence doctrine used in Florida, the lead driver may be at least partially at fault if their own negligence contributed to the crash. For example, the lead driver may have cut off another car or slammed on their brakes. 

Left-Turn Accidents

When turning left, motorists must yield the right of way, gauge the speed of oncoming traffic, and watch for hazards. A driver turning left against oncoming traffic is usually at fault for a crash.

Sometimes the other driver has partial or full fault instead. If the other driver ran a red light or was speeding, the driver making a left turn may not be at fault for the crash. 

Intersection Accidents

Intersection crashes are very common. To determine who is at fault, your lawyer and the insurance companies will investigate which driver had the right of way and whether either or both drivers behaved negligently. 

Evidence that may be used to prove fault includes the accident report, photos of the scene, damage to the vehicles, video footage of the crash, witness statements, and expert testimony.

Common Causes of Car Accidents and Determining Fault

Just a handful of behaviors cause the majority of car accidents. To determine fault, a car accident lawyer may utilize eyewitness statements, camera footage, police reports, and more. 

The damage to the vehicles can also be evidence of the circumstances of the collision and the other driver’s behavior. Depending on the circumstances, working with an accident reconstruction expert may be necessary. 

Here are the most common causes of crashes and examples of evidence used to establish fault. 


According to the National Safety Council, speeding was a factor in 29% of all traffic deaths in 2021. A driver could be held at least partially at fault if their speeding contributed to an accident. Speeding can involve driving faster than the posted speed limit or driving too fast for road or weather conditions. 

Damage to both vehicles, skid marks on the road, witness statements, traffic citations, and camera footage can all be used as evidence to establish another driver was speeding.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving involves any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the road. This includes talking to other people in the car, using a GPS device, eating, or talking or texting on a phone. About 3,500 people every year are killed by distracted drivers.

Your injury lawyer may subpoena the other driver’s phone records if it’s believed they were texting or on the phone at the time of the crash. 

Drugged or Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is a common cause of crashes and disproportionately causes fatal car accidents. Drivers who cause an accident while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be held responsible and also face criminal penalties. 

Plaintiffs in a car accident case have the burden of proving the defendant was negligent. The negligence per se doctrine can be used to establish fault in drunk driving cases, potentially making it easier to win the claim.

Negligence per se means the defendant violated a law designed to protect others and that the violation itself constitutes negligence. You do not need to show how the other driver’s behavior was careless or reckless, merely that they violated a safety law and this violation caused your crash. 

Drowsy Driving

Driving while fatigued can be just as dangerous as driving while drunk. In 2021, more than 680 people were killed in accidents involving drowsy driving. 

An experienced car accident attorney may gather evidence to show the other driver was drowsy, such as: 

  • A lack of skid marks showing the fatigued driver did not even try to stop
  • Prescription records showing they were taking medication that causes drowsiness
  • Phone records, financial records, and social media activity showing they were awake for a long period of time
  • Work or school records indicating a lack of sleep

Sometimes, witness statements or police observations in the accident report can also back up your claim.

Failure To Yield the Right of Way

Failing to yield the right of way at an intersection or while turning is a common cause of accidents and is responsible for many pedestrian accidents. This usually happens when a driver misjudges the speed or distance of oncoming traffic or is driving recklessly. 

Florida law requires drivers to yield or give up the right of way in many traffic situations. A driver who failed to yield when they were required to is likely at fault for the crash.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Trusted Stuart Car Accident Lawyers

If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to step outside Florida’s no-fault insurance system to seek compensation from the at-fault party. An experienced Stuart car accident lawyer can help you build the strongest case possible to hold the responsible party accountable. 

Call Kibbey Wagner Injury & Car Accident Lawyers Stuart today to schedule a free case review.