Can you still get PI compensation if you messed up?

Some people decline to pursue personal injury claims because they mistakenly believe that, because they had a degree of fault in the accident, the law does not entitle them to anything. However, Florida is a state that practices comparative fault. You can often still recover compensation even if you bore some of the fault for an accident.

The concept of comparative fault is designed to account for the reality of most accidents. It is only the rare accident that is entirely black and white. For instance, a person jaywalking in a residential area with a 25 mph speed limit in broad daylight is unlikely to be hit by a driver who is not being reckless. If a provably intoxicated driver is texting, speeding excessively, and hits the jaywalker, it would hardly be fair to deny the pedestrian any compensation because he or she was crossing illegally.

Percentage of compensation

Juries decide how much fault to assign to each party in a case. The percentage of compensation to which you are eligible is calculated from there. Suppose you are suing someone, and the jury finds that you were 10 percent at fault. The jury also assesses your total damages at $100,000. Ten percent of that amount is $10,000, so you would end up getting $90,000 ($100,000-$10,000).

The more at fault you are found to be, the less compensation you are eligible to receive.

Determining fault at the scene

So, yes, you can absolutely get personal injury compensation even if you messed up in some way such as jaywalking. Police officers and other government authorities investigating the accident scene and its aftermath tend to make the first determinations of who is at fault for what. However, these officers do not always have sufficient information and can make errors. If a report assigns you more fault than you think is appropriate, you and your team will have to work to show why the report is wrong. Be careful what you tell insurance companies, both yours and the other party’s. It helps to have someone who can advocate for you throughout the process of talking with these companies.

A misstep at any point can seriously damage your ability to recover proper compensation. But if you handle things correctly, there is no reason that a small portion of the blame should stop you from getting justice.

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