Too many people have a black-and-white view of fault when it comes to car crashes. Numerous factors can contribute to a collision occurring. There are rare situations where no one driver is directly to blame because of unpredictable events, like a mudslide. In most collisions, however, at least one driver will make a mistake that contributes to the wreck.
Sometimes, one person is directly to blame but other parties also played a role. Maybe someone ran a red light and hit you, but you recognize that you also contributed to the crash because you didn’t use your turn signal. There are many circumstances in which someone else is at-fault but you may have some blame for the collision that occurred.
Does your partial responsibility eliminate your right to seek compensation for your injuries?
Florida has a nuanced approach to fault
Typically, the person declared at-fault for a crash will provide liability coverage for those affected by the collision. In some cases, they could also face a civil lawsuit because of the crash.
When it comes to personal injury claims, the Florida civil courts recognize that a person could contribute to their injury without being to blame for it. The legal concept of comparative negligence or contributory fault allows someone with partial responsibility for an incident to still pursue compensation from someone with more culpability.
Typically, the other party would use your contributions to the crash as part of their defense against your lawsuit. When they raise a claim of contributory fault, the Florida courts would evaluate the situation and determine what percentage of fault is yours.
Then, if they rule in your favor and award you compensation, they would reduce what you receive according to your responsibility for the collision. Simply put, having partial blame for a crash may reduce the compensation you receive, but it will not eliminate your right to ask for financial support.
The details of a car crash can have a major impact on the rights of those involved. Learning more about how Florida handles complicated car crash claims will help those coping with major property damage losses or catastrophic injuries after a wreck.