What Happens When You’re Partially At Fault In An Accident?
There are rare instances when both parties involved in an accident are at fault. If you are involved in such a situation, you may be worried that you will not get compensation for the damages you sustained. But you don’t need to worry because Florida operates under the statute of comparative negligence, which means that your level of negligence is not a barrier to receiving compensation.
What Is Comparative Negligence?
Florida’s comparative negligence statute allows fault for an accident to be apportioned to more than one party. As such, both parties retain the rights to receive compensation. However, should they be found to be negligent to a certain degree, they cannot recover full compensation. Instead, they will recover only a percentage of it.
If both parties are found to be responsible for the accident, the court or the insurance company will establish the percentage of fault for each individual. The percentage of compensation they are supposed to receive will be diminished based on how much of the accident was their fault. So even if the accident is mostly your fault, you are still likely to get some compensation. However, do not expect it to cover all of your medical bills and car repairs.
Who Determines The Percentage Of Fault?
There are a few people involved in assigning fault in Southwest Florida car accidents. Ultimately, their decisions will determine how much compensation you will recover.
• The police responder will be the first to assign some level of fault to one or both parties. Based on the police officer’s interpretation, you may receive a citation. Receiving a citation may have an effect on all the other people who will determine your fault.
• Once you’ve filed your claims, your respective insurance companies will conduct investigations. Afterward, they will each apportion a degree of fault to each party. At this point, it is advised to have a car accident lawyer to help you negotiate a fair apportion of fault.
• When you hire a car accident lawyer, they too will determine a percentage of fault, which they will negotiate with the insurance company and, if necessary, with the court.
• If neither party agrees on a settlement, the case may have to go to court. When this happens, your lawyer will present evidence to prove the percentage of fault you believe is fair. The other party’s lawyer will do the same. The court by way of a jury will then review the facts of the case and decide on a percentage for each party as well as the corresponding compensation. You are more likely to get a fairer apportion of fault and compensation from the court than from an insurance company as the latter tends to make decisions based on their own interest. A jury will be more objective.
The Importance Of A Trusted Lawyer
If you suspect that you are partially at fault in an accident, contact a lawyer as soon as possible to help you with the processes involved. Your car accident lawyer should be someone you trust will have your best interest in mind. For legal assistance after getting into a Southwest Florida car accident, contact Justice Pays today.