Where negligence is a contributing factor, most states allow injured parties to pursue legal action against the at-fault driver. Depending on the specific details of the accident, the negligent driver may be liable for multiple damages, including medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and emotional trauma. In the state of Florida, accident liability is determined based on a concept known as pure comparative fault or “shared fault.” This means that the courts will assign a percentage of fault to each party involved in the crash, and award damages accordingly. We have discussed the concept of negligence and how it’s applied in this state in more detail below.
“Comparative Fault’ vs. “Contributory Negligence”
Comparative fault/negligence is a concept that assigns liability to each party involved in an accident. It is the opposite of contributory negligence, which assumes that one party holds full responsibility for the crash. In a pure comparative negligence system, the court will assign each party involved a percentage of fault and adjust damages accordingly. This heralds good news for plaintiffs, as it is less difficult to prove negligence than in states that adhere to strict contributory negligence laws. In Florida, drivers involved in an accident can be found partially or fully liable. This means that a plaintiff can pursue legal action against the negligent driver even if they also bear some responsibility for the incident. The final award will then reflect the court-assigned fault percentages. For instance, if one party (defendant) is found to be 70 percent responsible, and the other (plaintiff) 30 percent, then the latter would receive a settlement that reflects this ratio.
“No-Fault” Insurance State
Before bringing a case to court, there are a few issues that plaintiffs must consider. Since Florida is one of several states with “no-fault” insurance laws, claimants must first file a claim with their insurance carrier before filing a personal injury lawsuit. This means that it will only be necessary to establish liability in the eyes of the law if damages exceed a certain amount. As a general rule, all drivers in this state must have both personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL) coverage. PIP covers medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and other damages that result from an accident, while PDL pays for the costs associated with repairing or replacing damaged property. The no-fault system allows all parties to receive coverage, regardless of who is to blame for the whole incident.
Seeking Legal Action
As previously mentioned, if the damages exceed their insurance cover threshold, the injured party may be able to pursue legal action against the at-fault driver. In this case, a Vero Beach car accident attorney in Florida will be able to provide legal guidance. Helping the individuals in the sunshine state receive the compensation they deserve. This will be especially important if the injuries sustained are severe. A competent lawyer understands how the system works, which can be stressful for those who don’t. They will make sure that you get the justice you deserve.
It’s safe to say that figuring out who is to blame in a car accident can be difficult under the best of circumstances. But it’s important to remember that drivers in Florida have an advantage, as this state has one of the more favorable negligence laws. All in all, it’s best to consult a qualified attorney who can provide legal advice on the best course of action. They will give you all the information necessary to build a strong case. They can help get the financial compensation that you deserve if you’ve been involved in an accident.