The ideal personal injury case would involve a clear-cut accident with all evidence of responsibility pointing to the other party. However, rarely are such incidents so simple. Usually, many factors contribute to accidents, sometimes resulting in multiple liable parties.
What if you are one of those parties, and something you did or did not do contributed partially or fully to your accident? Is it irrelevant or does it make you ineligible to seek financial compensation? Florida handles these cases as follows.
Comparative fault law
Florida statute states, “In a negligence action, contributory fault chargeable to the claimant diminishes proportionately the amount awarded as economic and noneconomic damages for an injury attributable to the claimant’s contributory fault, but does not bar recovery.” This means that you can still recover damages, but only in proportion to how much each of you is at fault. For example, if the court determines you to be 30 percent accountable, then you can only receive 70 percent of the compensation to which you are entitled.
Does that mean if you think you are 100 percent guilty you should just give in to the consequences? Not at all. In fact, it is unlikely anything is 100 percent your fault with so many factors in play.
No matter what percentage you may seem at fault, you should have a lawyer review your case. This will ensure you receive a fair judgment. An attorney can find errors in police reports, redeeming photo evidence or witness statements that point the finger at the others involved. A lawyer may also utilize the services of other professionals to assess the accident.
With how much money you can receive relying on your level of fault, you should not accept how things appear to be without consulting legal guidance first. You still deserve a just evaluation and financial award for your injuries even if you hold the higher percentage of responsibility.