In many cases, Florida car accidents result in severe injuries. If you suffered injuries because of someone else’s reckless behavior or negligence, you might be entitled to seek compensation.
But what happens if you are partially responsible for the car accident? The answer lies in the legal concept of Florida’s pure comparative negligence. You can learn more about car accident cases here. Let’s take a look at the overall process.
Florida’s Pure Comparative Negligence Law
Under Florida’s pure comparative negligence law, the court can attribute blame for a car accident to more than just one party. This means you can still sue and pursue damages from other parties even if you are partially responsible for the car accident. However, the amount of compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
The case would fall under Florida’s no-fault laws if your car accident didn’t lead to serious injuries. Florida describes serious injuries as permanent injury, significant and permanent scarring/disfigurement, and significant and permanent loss of bodily function. In this case, each driver must seek financial compensation from their insurance company. But if your accident involves severe injuries, Florida’s pure comparative negligence laws will apply, and you will be compensated for the percentage determined to be the other driver’s fault.
For example, if you were 30% at fault for the car accident, and the other driver was 70% at fault, you will receive 70% of the compensation you would have received if the other driver had been 100% at fault.
Moreover, even if you were partially responsible for the car crash, you can sue and seek compensation from multiple defendants in Florida. You still have to prove negligence on the part of each defendant.
Suppose comparative negligence is brought up in your personal injury claim. In that case, most insurance adjusters would try to reduce your compensation by increasing your percentage of fault. If that happens, contacting a car accident lawyer to negotiate for you would be vital.
What To Do After a Car Accident
One of the essential things one must do after a car accident is to document the accident scene to show how it happened and who is responsible. It would help if you follow these steps:
- Call law enforcement to the car accident scene. They will write up a police report that can serve as evidence.
- Take as many pictures as possible, including your injuries, the vehicles involved, the surrounding area, nearby road signs, and damaged property.
- Get witnesses’ contact information if possible, so they can present their testimony when needed.
- After the emergency services arrive at the accident scene, go to the hospital and ensure you receive medical treatment. Please keep a copy of the medical records because they might be the most vital evidence for your case.
- Retain the legal services of a knowledgeable car accident attorney who can help you seek the compensation you are entitled to.
Your car accident attorney will pursue a settlement from the other driver’s insurance company. If you cannot reach a favorable settlement, your attorney can bring the case to trial, where they will present evidence to determine the other driver’s fault. At this stage, the court analyzes the evidence and decides whether the other driver was entirely at fault or if you share a percentage of fault. If you are partially to blame, you will receive reduced compensation according to your percentage of fault.
How Long do You Have To Claim Injury in Florida?
Under Florida Statute § 95.11(3)(a), you have four years from the date of your car accident to file a personal injury claim. According to Florida Statute § 95.11(4)(d), you have two years to file a claim if you pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. If you fail to file your car accident claim within the specified four-year time limit, it is unlikely that a Florida court will hear your case.
While it may seem sufficient time, the sooner you file your personal injury claim, the better. The process can be time consuming and overwhelming with so many steps to building a solid personal injury case. Seeking help from an experienced car accident attorney may be your ideal solution. Besides investigating your car accident, gathering evidence, and calculating your damages, a personal injury attorney will seek the maximum compensation in your case.
Disclaimer: 1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service.