When you have been in a car accident, it seems like the world has come to an end; for many, life changes forever. Thousands of Florida residents suffer from incapacitating injuries sustained from car injuries every year.
Every person that suffers from a car accident deserves compensation. In Florida, these amounts are determined by comparative negligence laws.
Determining Fault in an Accident
Florida is a no-fault state, but this is an insurance term. Insurance companies use this term so that you can recover some damages immediately after an accident. When you file a report with your insurance company, you will get some compensation for your medical expenses.
You might have more damages than your insurance company will pay, though. To recover those, you may need to file a lawsuit. If the other driver was at fault, you would be able to get a settlement for that accident.
Determining fault is not always easy, though, and this is why Florida has comparative negligence laws. To be successful in a lawsuit, you have to show that the other party was responsible for the accident.
Proving so isn’t always easy because other parties will not want to take this blame. Sometimes it isn’t obvious who caused the accident.
Sometimes, a judge or jury may believe both parties are at fault and assign a percentage of fault to each party. This distribution of fault is called comparative negligence. The court will give the plaintiff an award of their amount of damages times the percentage of fault. It is possible to still win your case even if the court finds you are mostly at fault.
Comparative Negligence in Florida
In Florida, comparative negligence means that both parties may pay after an accident. However, even if you are found to be partially at fault, that doesn’t mean you can’t recover damages.
If you are found to be 10 percent at fault, that ten percent will come out of the judgment. A judgment amount is determined, and the other party will have to pay 90 percent of it.
Insurance companies use this principle as well. So you want to be very careful about how much you say with the insurance company while working this out. A personal injury lawyer can be very effective in helping you to work out a fair settlement under comparative negligence.
Book a Free Consultation With a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer Today
When you have been in a car accident in Florida, life suddenly seems so unfair. You are suffering from injuries and trauma, and now you have to deal with it legally. A Florida personal injury lawyer can help to alleviate some of this pressure. Our Florida personal injury attorney team can help you to get the fairest settlement under comparative negligence laws. Call us at (850) 706-4434 to book your free consultation today. With us, your satisfaction is guaranteed.
What do I do if the other driver is obviously at fault but won’t say so? I can’t afford this!
At first, most people in an accident won’t claim fault. Comparative negligence laws mean that you can take some avenues to recover your losses and damages. You may wind up getting more than you think. Lawsuits have a way of changing people’s minds on their defenses when they get closer to judges and juries. We can also work with the other side with depositions and settlement negotiations. You won’t pay until you win.
The other driver got a ticket and is now saying it’s not their fault. What do I do?
Unfortunately, this information won’t be admissible if this goes to court. That is because the police who issued the ticket did not witness the actual accident. Every car accident leaves evidence. If the other driver got a ticket, there would likely be something else that we will find to indicate fault. In Florida, the law requires the juries to decide who is at fault and not the police. We can help you to build the case that juries like to see.
The other driver admitted fault to the police. Does that mean I will win?
If the other driver already admitted fault, that is a good sign. You know they know they are at fault. Unfortunately, this specific information is protected by §316.066 (4), which indicates that any statement made to police at the time of the accident is to be taken without prejudice and can’t be used at any kind of trial. We’ve seen this before. We know how to beat it if the other driver is at fault. Call us for a review of your case.
Following graduation from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, Eric Stevenson held a number of positions including Assistant State Attorney in the First Judicial Circuit of Florida. Eric has been practicing with partner Christopher Klotz since 2015 litigating personal injury and car accidents in Alabama and Florida.