How Comparative Negligence Affects Car Accident Claims in Florida
Florida's roadways see a significant number of car accidents each year, and our state often ranks among the deadliest when it comes to fatal car crashes. These incidents often lead to complex legal cases where determining fault is not always straightforward.
A key concept in these cases is what is referred to as comparative negligence. Understanding what it is and how it applies to recovering compensation is a crucial legal principle connected to car accident claims in Florida.
Adopting Modified Comparative Negligence
Florida's approach to handling fault in car accidents used to be a pure comparative negligence approach but this recently changed (more on that in a moment). In the past, Florida recognized that being partially at fault does not bar a person from recovering damages. Instead, it adjusted the compensation you can receive based on your level of responsibility for causing the accident.
For instance, if you were involved in a rear-end collision at a stoplight and found to be 10% responsible because you did not brake in time, your compensation would be reduced by that percentage. Therefore, if the total damages amount to $100,000, you could still recover $90,000.
Those numbers still apply today. However, thanks to a recent change in Florida law, if you are found to be more than 50% responsible then you are not eligible for compensation. So, if one party is considered to be 60% responsible then only the party that is considered 40% responsible (or less if multiple other parties are involved) are eligible for compensation.
Navigating Comparative Negligence
Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming, mainly when working through the challenges associated with comparative negligence. What happens when two sides differ on who is at fault in what capacity? Solving that includes analyzing police reports, witness statements, and sometimes the input of accident reconstruction experts. This evidence is crucial in accurately portraying the accident and determining the percentage of fault.
Negotiating with insurance companies adds another layer of complexity. They often use comparative negligence as a means to minimize claims. Effective negotiation requires a thorough understanding of the law and the specifics of the accident. In unsuccessful negotiations, having experienced legal representation becomes even more critical, especially if the case goes to court.
In Florida, where comparative negligence can significantly impact a claim, it is essential not to let the intricacies of the law or the tactics of insurance companies result in accepting less compensation than deserved. Detailed records of the accident, including medical bills, lost wages, and car repair receipts, strengthen your claim and demonstrate the full extent of your damages.
Discover What’s Possible
Navigating comparative negligence in Florida requires more than just a basic understanding of the law; it requires a guided approach to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. If you're dealing with the aftermath of a car accident, don't go through it alone.
Contact The FAB Law Firm for a free consultation. Let us be your partner and help you recover the right amount of compensation.