Can I Recover Compensation If I am at Fault for Half of The Accident?
Yes. You can still recover compensation if you were found at fault for half of the accident. Florida follows the pure comparative fault doctrine. This means that injured parties can recover compensation if they were negligent, and their negligence caused part of their damages.
A Common Example of Comparative Fault
Anna and Joe were both approaching the intersection. Anna intended to turn left and crept carefully into the intersection as she waited for the traffic to clear. When the traffic light turned yellow, she started turning left, but Tom crashed into her passenger side door.
On the other hand, Tom was driving straight ahead and saw Anna’s car waiting to make a left turn. Tom had the right of way, but the traffic light turned yellow as he was in the intersection. He couldn’t slam the brakes because the driver following him might crash into his car, so he proceeded to cross the intersection. But Anna cut in front of him, and he couldn’t stop in time to avoid hitting Anna’s car.
In this hypothetical car crash, both drivers were technically following the traffic rules but still got into an accident, and it can be argued that they share equal or 50/50 fault for the accident. This means that if Anna was awarded $120,000 in damages, her compensation would be decreased by 50%, and she’ll receive $60,000. The remaining $60,000 would then go to Tom.
How Can I Prove The Other Party’s Fault?
Determining and proving fault for accidents can be difficult, but more so if they involve shared fault. In such cases, the experience and expertise of a personal injury lawyer would be most beneficial. Your lawyer will conduct the following tasks to determine and prove fault:
- Collect and evaluate all the pieces of evidence that can help prove your case
- Work with accident reconstruction professionals to determine what really happened during the accident
- Negotiate financial compensation from the other party’s insurer
- Take your case to trial if an out-of-court settlement can’t be reached
During the trial, the burden of proof is on you, so your lawyer will present evidence that shows the other party’s percentage of fault for the accident. The lawyer of the other party will also present evidence against you. The court will then review the evidence presented to determine whether only one party or both parties are partly to blame for the accident.
Next, the court must figure out the amount of compensation or damages they should award you. The total amount of your damages will be decreased appropriately based on your percentage of fault if the court finds that you were also at fault for the accident.
Get Legal Assistance From a Tampa Personal Injury Attorney Now
Trying to piece together the circumstances surrounding an accident can be difficult. But determining and proving fault for the accident can be more challenging. If you were hurt in an accident that you believe you were partly to blame for, contact the Tampa personal injury attorney at Matthews Injury Law today. Dial 813-530-1000 or reach us online to schedule your free case review with our Tampa personal injury attorney today.