Even if you are found partly or mostly responsible for an auto accident in Florida, you could still be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and more. Under Florida’s pure comparative fault rule, you could still recover financial damages when both parties share blame for the crash. However, your award might be reduced based on the percentage of the accident that’s determined your fault.
Florida is also considered a no-fault state. That means after an accident, you would file a claim under your own PIP or personal injury insurance to cover your medical expenses and other losses regardless of who caused the accident. But depending on the severity of your injuries, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the driver who hit you and hold them legally accountable for your damages.
What You Should Know About Pure Comparative Negligence
Pure comparative negligence is a legal principle that allows the plaintiff to recover damages, even after being assigned a percentage of fault in the accident. The negligence or fault of each party involved depends on their respective contributions to its occurrence.
This law allows blame to be assigned and insurance claims to be paid. The percentage of compensation each party will receive will be reduced, based on how much of the accident was their fault. For example, say the other driver is found 90% responsible for your accident. But you were speeding, so you are found 10% accountable. If you are awarded $50,000 for your damages, the total amount would be reduced by 10%, which means you would receive $45,000.
Who Establishes the Percentage of Fault Each Party Is Assigned?
If a car accident in Florida doesn’t cause severe injuries, it falls under the state’s no-fault laws. In such a case, each driver involved will pursue compensation from their own insurance carrier.
Under the no-fault law, each driver in the state has to maintain a minimum of:
- $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP), and
- $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL)
This means that at-fault parties in a non-severe accident will be required to file their claims with their own insurance company to recoup any lost wages, medical expenses, or other out-of-pocket losses incurred as a result of an accident.
In no-fault cases, the insurance adjusters of both parties will carry out investigations before apportioning some degree of fault to the parties involved. It can be beneficial to have a lawyer familiar with these types of cases to help in these negotiations.
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How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help Prove the Other Driver’s Fault
You can file a claim by yourself, but keep in mind accidents with shared fault can be challenging. Your legal team will protect your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve.
When the comparative negligence laws are applied, your lawyer will complete the following tasks to help determine fault:
- Collect any available evidence that may be useful to your case
- Assess the evidence gathered
- Pursue a financial settlement from the other party’s insurance company
- Hire an accident reconstruction specialist and other experts to help prove your case
- Bring the case to court if a favorable out-of-court settlement is not reached
- Represent you during the trial
During the trial, your attorney will present evidence showing the other party’s fault in the accident, as the burden of proof rests on the plaintiff. Remember, the other party’s lawyer may also present evidence proving that you were at fault for the accident.
Once this is complete, the court will analyze the evidence presented before determining whether both parties are partially to blame or whether only one was at fault for the accident. Based on the evidence provided, the court will then determine the amount of damages you (the injured party) should receive. If the court determines that both parties are to blame, then the amount of your total damages will be reduced appropriately.
What Damages Can You Recover?
If you’ve been injured after an accident and were partly responsible, you can still claim damages. Some of the financial losses you could recover include:
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Loss of earning capacity
You may also be eligible for other damages based on your injuries and other circumstances of your case. A lawyer who handles shared-fault car accidents in Florida can investigate your case, prove the other driver’s fault, and fight for your right to compensation for your injuries and other losses.
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Contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine Today for Legal Assistance
If you have recently been involved in an accident that you were partly responsible for – you could still be eligible for compensation. The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can discuss the details of your case and help determine your legal options for recovery. Call us today at 1-800-747-3733 for a free consultation. We want you to focus on healing while we take care of everything else.
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