While most accidents are caused by another party’s negligence, it is not uncommon for the accident victim to be partially at fault. For example, at the time of an accident, one driver may have been speeding while the other was texting and driving. If the driver wasn’t distracted, they may have been able to avoid the collision.
This case may involve shared liability under Florida’s pure comparative negligence law. Fortunately, you can still file a lawsuit and obtain compensation when you are partially at fault for a car accident that occurs in Florida.
Understanding Florida’s Pure Comparative Negligence Law
Liability in car accidents is conditional on who is at fault. Florida law recognizes that more than one party’s negligence could cause an accident to occur; therefore, it is just to hold each liability party accountable for their portion of fault. Under Florida’s pure comparative negligence law, the recovery you may be entitled to will be restricted based on the percentage to which you were at fault. For example, if you were 20% negligent, then you will only be able to recover 80% of your losses.
The determination of fault is subjective. Even with witness statements, video surveillance, and a police report, no one can fully recount the story of what happened in your accident. A qualified personal injury attorney can analyze every piece of evidence in order to reconstruct the scene and gather specific parameters that may dictate fault.
Compensation for Car Accident Involving Shared Liability
Apportioning fault or the degree of fault in car accidents is a difficult undertaking. And yet it’s the most important factor in determining the value of compensation you have the right to be awarded. If you were in a car accident with injuries, then Florida’s no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) insurance will cover your medical costs up to your policy’s limits.
If your injuries are severe, requiring extensive medical treatment, then your accident will fall under Florida’s pure comparative negligence law. Unfortunately, your percentage of fault will determine the percentage of damages you can acquire. This can gravely affect your ability to recover financially, physically, and mentally.
However, an insurance company or a police officer’s interpretation of fault doesn’t necessarily conclude that you were partially responsible. It’s wise to reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney in cases involving shared liability. An attorney can help investigate your crash to determine whether you were in fact partially liable, to what percentage you were liable, and what a fair settlement might look like.
What to Do If You’re Partially at Fault for a Car Accident
If you believe that you may be partially at fault for your car accident, it’s imperative that you remain quiet. Don’t say anything that may implicate you. Avoid admitting fault to the other driver or to any insurance companies that you speak to. You can inquire about the other driver’s health, but don’t apologize, as this can make it seem like you are apologizing for causing the accident.
When you speak to the police officer, speak to them personally—with no one else around. Do your best to recount the moments leading up to the accident without admitting fault. Accidents are a traumatic experience and although you may be scared, try not to let your emotions take over. When you give a statement, stick to relevant incident facts. You can be truthful in a way that doesn’t immediately result in sharing liability for the car accident.
Consult South Florida’s Trusted Personal Injury Attorney Today
The aftermath of a car accident is alarming, and if you are partially at fault, it can be even more nerve-wracking. Break free from excessive worry when you work with South Florida’s trusted personal injury law firm Baker Legal Team. At Baker Legal Team, we have deep roots in South Florida with 30 years of experience assisting accident victims in their pursuit for compensation.
Here at Baker Legal Team, we take immense pride in being able to personally assist you with your accident case. We strive to maintain close working relationships with our clients, ensuring that we have the facts right. What matters most to us is you. Let Board-Certified attorney Robert Baker fight for you. Call (561) 320-000 or complete a contact form today.