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Can I Recover Compensation if I am Partially at Fault in a Car Accident?

Can I Recover Compensation if I am Partially at Fault in a Car Accident
Can I Recover Compensation if I am Partially at Fault in a Car Accident

Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be painful, costly, and confusing. This is especially true when faced with injuries and the potential legal challenges surrounding the fault.

In Florida, understanding your rights to compensation, even if you were partly at fault in the accident, is crucial. This is where the guidance of a personal injury attorney in Florida becomes invaluable.

The state’s laws on comparative negligence allow for a strategic approach to determining compensation after a car accident, making the role of a skilled Florida car accident lawyer critical in these scenarios.

Understanding Comparative Negligence in Florida

The state’s adherence to a comparative negligence system is important when determining liability in personal injury claims. This law directly influences the compensation parties may receive following an accident.

Under this legal framework, the compensation awarded to an individual involved in a car accident is adjusted based on their degree of fault. This approach acknowledges that accidents often result from the actions of multiple parties and is designed to allocate financial responsibility proportionately. For instance, if you are found to be 30% responsible for an accident due to factors like speeding or failing to signal, and the total damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and property damage, equate to $100,000, your recoverable compensation would be adjusted to $70,000. Conversely, if you were 70% at fault, you would only be entitled to 30% of the total damages, equating to $30,000.

Before March 24, 2023, Florida followed pure comparative fault laws. This law stated that individuals could file personal injury claims for damages caused by others involved in the accident, even if they were found to be 99% at fault for the crash. This law enabled victims to recover compensation for the 1% of damages suffered due to the actions of others in the accident.

Any case after this date follows comparative negligence laws, meaning individuals can only recover compensation for their accidents if they are less than 51% responsible for the crash. It is best to consult an attorney to understand which comparative negligence laws apply to your case.

The Role of a Personal Injury Attorney

Given the complex nature of comparative negligence claims, hiring a personal injury attorney in Florida is a strategic move. A Florida car accident lawyer can:

  • Assess Your Case: They will evaluate the specifics of the accident, including reviewing police reports, witness statements, and any available surveillance footage to establish a strong foundation for your claim.
  • Determine Fault: Your attorney will work to accurately determine and argue the degree of fault assigned to each party, advocating to minimize your share of blame and maximize your compensation.
  • Negotiate With Insurance Companies: Insurance adjusters are good at trying to pay out as little as possible. Your lawyer will negotiate to ensure that your compensation reflects the true extent of your injuries and losses.
  • Represent You in Court: If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, your attorney will represent you in court, presenting your case with compelling evidence and expert testimony.

Gathering Evidence

Gathering strong evidence is crucial to proving your case and mitigating your fault in the accident. This includes:

  • Photographs of the accident scene, vehicle damages, and injuries.
  • Medical records documenting your injuries and their impact on your life.
  • Witness statements that corroborate your account of the accident.
  • Expert testimonies from accident reconstruction specialists or medical professionals, if necessary.

Your Florida car accident lawyer will assist in compiling this evidence to build a strong case on your behalf.

Communicating With Other Parties

Limiting communication with the other party’s insurance company or legal representatives after the accident is essential. Any statements you make could be used to increase your fault percentage, thereby reducing your potential compensation. Allow your personal injury attorney to handle all communications to protect your interests.

Filing a Claim on Time

Florida law imposes deadlines for filing car accident claims, known as the statute of limitations. Typically, you have four years from the accident date to file a personal injury claim. However, exceptions to this rule exist that could shorten or extend the deadline. Ensuring your claim is filed within this period is critical, or you risk losing your right to seek compensation. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney will ensure that all necessary steps are taken.

Call Our Florida Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you find yourself partly at fault in a car accident in Florida, know that you still have the right to seek compensation for your injuries and damages. The state’s comparative negligence laws ensure that fault is fairly distributed among all parties involved. By seeking the help of a qualified personal injury attorney in Florida, you can protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.

At Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A., our dedicated Florida car accident lawyers are committed to providing comprehensive legal representation, ensuring you receive fair treatment, and maximizing your recovery. Contact our team today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

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