Accidents happen. Sometimes they’re the fault of one singular party but, just as often, both drivers share fault. The state of Florida understands this, which is why it operates as a ‘Comparative Negligence’ state. Put simply that means, yes, you may be entitled to compensation, even in the event that you are partially at fault for an accident you were involved in. Exactly how much compensation you might receive, though, will be determined by a jury of your peers, following the presentation of the facts surrounding the accident.
What Does ‘Comparative Negligence’ Mean?
‘Comparative Negligence’ is a legal principle that appropriately divides the blame for an accident among the various parties at fault. If, for example, an accident occurs between two parties and one party was looking at their phone while one or both parties were speeding, a jury will analyze any relevant information and assign a percentage of the blame. The insurance carriers representing the involved parties then award compensation accordingly.
What Expenses Might I be Compensated For?
Even if you are partially at fault for an accident, you have the legal right to seek compensation for damage or injuries caused by the party at fault. This compensation may be for:
- Medical costs – Save any medical documentation, including bills, test results, and imaging. All of this can be useful for showing physical injury and financial costs.
- Loss of Earnings – If your injuries leave you disabled or otherwise unable to work, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages.
- The death of a loved one – If the accident resulted in the loss of an immediate family member, a wrongful death civil case may bring compensation for the loss of earnings.
Do I Need an Attorney to Help Me Get Compensation for an Accident That May Be Partially My Fault?
If you’ve been in an accident for which you have reason to believe you were partially at fault, it can only benefit you to consult with an attorney before seeking compensation. You can never be sure how a jury will interpret any evidence, documents, or testimony regarding the accident, nor how they will ultimately divide responsibility among the involved parties, particularly if the other party has retained the services of an attorney. In an instance like that, having the counsel of your own knowledgeable attorney– someone to help you navigate a potentially thorny situation–can make the difference between whether or not you receive your own due compensation.