In the aftermath of an accident, you may be left with serious or permanent medical issues, high bills and insurance premiums, and expensive property damage. Many people are overwhelmed and unsure of their options. There is a common misconception that in order to recover damages someone else had to be 100% responsible for causing them.
While this is the ideal case, it is also a rare one. An accident hardly ever happens in the absence of negligence, and it’s relatively uncommon to be able to isolate all negligence to one party. Insurance adjusters tend to assess the facts and circumstances of an accident with a microscope, assigning liability for very minor things that would never have caused an accident in the absence of another person’s recklessness, such as a burnt-out tail light or failing to come to a complete stop. The good news is that while it can be nerve-racking to be hit with some of the blame, it is not a bar to recovering damages in Florida.
Comparative Negligence in Florida
Florida applies the comparative negligence model, which means that the circumstances of the case are assessed and liability is assigned based on any negligence each party contributed to causing the overall accident. Under this model, you are able to sue for damages as long as you are not found to be the primary cause of the damage. In other words, if you were assigned less than 50% of the fault, you have standing to sue and recover damages.
Were You Actually at Fault?
Another important thing to consider is whether the fault assessment made by the insurance adjuster was accurate. If you had a burnt out tail light but were struck in a head-on collision, the tail light cannot be said to have contributed to the accident, and fault should be adjusted accordingly. Even in instances where there was a more direct correlation between the liability you were assigned and the accident, your negligence is not relevant if the other driver’s recklessness was so extreme that the accident would have occurred anyway.
If you have been injured in an accident, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Draper Law Office to schedule a consultation. Just call 407.846.0075. We’ve been serving the Central Florida community since 1984 and we’re here for you.
Remember, in times of need, you can trust Draper Law.