Key Points of This Article:
- Florida law uses the concept of pure comparative fault.
- Each person in an auto accident can receive a percentage of the blame and you could receive compensation even if you are partially at fault.
- Due to the statute of limitations, always consult a Florida auto accident attorney as soon as possible to see if you have a case for recovering compensation.
Are you familiar with Florida’s law of pure comparative fault? It means that when an auto accident happens, there’s no assumption that a single person is 100% at fault. Instead, each person involved can share a proportion of the blame.
The pure comparative fault rule means that if you’re in a car accident, it might not be immediately obvious how responsibility will be assigned. Even if you’re partially to blame, you could take your case to court and let a jury evaluate the circumstances and divide up the monetary compensation.
Here’s How Partial Fault Works in Florida
To understand how this works in the real world, let’s look at an example. Imagine that you and another driver are in a car collision in a parking lot. The case goes to court and the jury decides you each contributed 50% comparative negligence, which is another way of saying each person is 50% at fault.
In this case, if the jury awards compensation of $100,000 you would receive $50,000 because you were 50% at fault for the accident. Sure, you might not be happy with receiving just half of the $100,000 you’d hoped for, but it’s a lot more than zero! Receiving $50,000 is a positive outcome after your parking lot accident.
Even if you are 90% at fault, under Florida law you could still receive 10% of your total damages. Most other states don’t handle it this way and would only allow you to receive damages if you were less than 50% at fault.
Why Would I Sue if I’m Partially at Fault?
It might seem counterintuitive to go to court if you’re partially at fault for a car accident, but it’s a smart choice due to Florida’s comparative fault rule. Although you share part of the blame for the accident, you still have the hefty burden of expensive medical bills, car repairs, lost wages, and emotional damage.
Nationwide, the average cost of medical bills alone after a car accident is about $3,300 for an emergency room visit plus $57,000 in other medical costs that add up over your lifetime. Wouldn’t it be great to have some help paying those bills, so the accident doesn’t ruin your finances and your future?
Florida allows all of the following types of damages to be awarded, even if a car accident was partially your fault:
- Cost of medical bills
- Value of lost income
- Expenses related to vehicle damage
- Pain and suffering
If the accident was extremely costly and involved severe pain and suffering, the jury could award $500,000 or more. Right here in Florida, car accident injury attorneys Kemp, Ruge & Green have secured car accident settlements valued at $1 million and $1.1 million.
Don’t Forget About Florida’s Statute of Limitations
Florida places a strict time limit on bringing a lawsuit after an auto accident. If you miss this window of opportunity, a judge will likely dismiss your case unless you qualify for a special extension.
You have four years to file a lawsuit. That might sound like a long time, but it’s a tighter timeframe than it seems. You could be in the hospital for weeks, then do months of physical therapy. The insurance company could drag its feet and cause further delays.
But the statute of limitations is very clear: Your lawsuit must be filed within exactly four years of the date of the accident. Contact a Florida auto accident attorney as soon as possible to get things moving. Even if you share part of the blame for an accident, it doesn’t have to ruin your whole life.
When Results Matter, Call Kemp, Ruge & Green of Tampa Bay
After a car accident where you may be partially at fault, connect with a Tampa Bay personal injury lawyer. The attorneys at Kemp, Ruge & Green Law Group handle many areas of personal injury law, including car accidents. We believe you should only have to work on getting well, while we worry about using the justice system to protect your rights. We give our clients the best possible results-driven service. You pay us only if we win in injury cases. Call 877-941-4878 today for a free consultation.