When you have an accident in Florida, and it’s partly your fault, you still may be able to recover compensation for some of your damages. An experienced car accident attorney can help you to prove a lesser degree of fault, and to fight for the best settlement possible.
Factoring Fault Into Your Settlement
How much fault you have in the accident will be factored into the amount of compensation you’re entitled to.
Most states, including Florida, follow some version of comparative negligence, which means that you can be partially at fault in the accident and still recover compensation for at least some of your damages.
Comparative negligence is a welcomed change from the past contributory negligence system, which made it impossible to collect any compensation if you were found to be even 1% responsible for the accident.
Understanding Fault in Florida
Florida is one of the 13 states that follow a pure comparative negligence system. This means that you can file a claim and seek compensation for your accident even if you’re found to be 99% at fault.
Your degree of fault, however, will be factored into the total dollar amount of your compensation. So for example, if you were found to be 30% at fault from an accident with $100,000 worth of damages, your compensation would be reduced to $70,000.
The insurance companies will review all the accident information, and assign all involved parties with a relative percentage for their degree of fault. Your settlement will then be reduced by the percentage of your degree of fault. Contacting an experienced attorney is recommended.
Proving Fault After Your Accident
Work with your attorney to collect evidence, and to carefully track all of your damages to make sure that your compensation is not reduced by your degree of fault.
Pertinent information that you’ll want to collect when proving fault after your accident includes the following:
- police reports;
- witness statements;
- pictures of the accident scene and of the damages; and
- medical bills and physicians notes.
The more substantial the evidence collected, the more likely your degree of fault will be reduced.
Pursuing a Claim After Your Accident
After you’ve been in a serious accident, especially if you’ve suffered considerable injuries, you will likely want to spend the majority of your time recovering and recuperating, not working with insurance companies or dealing with legal battles.
This is understandable, and an experienced accident attorney can help you move swiftly through the claims process and push for a fair settlement. When you’re partly at fault, you don’t want to tackle the claim on your own because you’ll likely not receive as much compensation as you would with a lawyer as your advocate.