Can I Claim Damages if My Car Accident Was Partly My Fault?
When people consider making car accident claims, they usually think of one party as being entirely guilty and the other as being entirely innocent. Unfortunately, car accident liability is rarely this cut and dry.
When two (or more) parties are partially to blame for an accident, seeking compensation becomes complicated — but not impossible.
If you were involved in a car accident for which you were partially at fault, a Florida car accident attorney could still help you recover damages. You may pursue damages for medical costs, property damage, lost wages, and other economic damages.
What Does Comparative Negligence Mean in Florida?
Florida has a comparative negligence law for car accident cases. This law determines what happens when two parties are at fault for an accident. If you were partially at fault for your accident, this law allows you to pursue damages anyway.
The catch is that the court will calculate what percentage of the accident was your fault and use that to reduce your damages.
Florida first established this law in 1973 to make car accident cases fairer since many cases aren’t clear-cut enough to have one party take the full blame.
Florida is also a no-fault state. In other words, regardless of who caused the accident, you can file a claim with your insurance to compensate for your losses.
How Does Comparative Negligence Work in Florida?
So, how exactly does comparative negligence impact your ability to recover damages?
There are various instances in which two parties share fault for an accident. The following are some common examples:
- One driver abruptly hit their brakes out of road rage
- Both drivers were backing out of a parking space
- One driver backed out of a driveway into oncoming traffic
- One driver suddenly stopped to avoid hitting a person or animal
- One driver rear-ended the other by following too close
Referencing the second point, let’s say you were backing out of your driveway into oncoming traffic. You failed to look before pulling out, and the other driver was speeding too fast to stop before hitting you.
If the jury finds that you were 30% at fault, the court will reduce your damages by that amount. So, if you were originally going to collect $10,000 in damages, you’ll now only collect $7,000.
No-Fault Florida Benefits
Florida’s personal injury protection plan gives you access to compensatory benefits regardless of whose fault the accident was. You can collect up to 80% of medical expenses, 60% of lost wages, and death benefits of $5,000 per person.
This settlement offer doesn’t cover all costs. Contact a Florida car accident attorney if you want to pursue compensation through a personal injury claim.
How Our Lawyers Help You Recover Damages
If you were partially at fault for your accident and worry about your ability to recover damages, our team of experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro, P.A., can help.
Without a professional, proving that the other party was partially at fault for your accident is difficult. Our team will interview eyewitnesses, acquire necessary records, and review the details of your case.
Cases with shared fault can be particularly complicated. Having an auto accident lawyer on your side simplifies this otherwise frustrating process.
Partially at Fault for Your Car Accident? Contact The Law Offices of Attorney Marc. L Shapiro, P.A.
Car accidents are devastating events, regardless of who is at fault. Don’t take on the burden of pursuing compensation alone. Contact a Florida car accident attorney at The Law Offices of Marc. L Shapiro, P.A. We have offices in Naples, Orlando, and Fort Myers and serve all of Florida.
Reach us at 239-977-8805 for a free consultation.