If you were injured in a collision and you think that the accident may have been partially your fault, you need to be careful about making any assumptions that could jeopardize your financial recovery. There are numerous factors that can cause and contribute to vehicle collisions; and, before you can draw any conclusions about whether you were to blame, you first need a clear understanding of all of the factors involved.
Let’s consider an example: Suppose you were driving above the speed limit when an oncoming vehicle crossed into your lane and hit you head-on. You were speeding, and there is no question that speeding is a common factor in vehicle collisions. But, was it a factor in your collision? It may be that you would have been hit regardless of the rate at which you were traveling. If a reconstruction of the accident shows that there was simply no way you could have avoided the collision, the driver who hit you may still be 100 percent to blame.
Now, let’s say that the accident would have happened regardless of your speed, but that your injuries were worsened by your increased rate of travel. In other words, your speeding played a role in the accident. Can you still seek financial compensation? In Florida, the answer is, “Yes.”
In car accidents where multiple drivers were partially at fault, Florida law follows a rule known as “pure comparative fault.” This means that even if you were partially at fault in a collision, you can still seek financial compensation based upon the other driver’s percentage of fault in the accident.
To illustrate, let’s imagine that the driver who crossed into your lane fell asleep while legally intoxicated. Let’s also say that you were driving five miles per hour above the posted speed limit on a sunny day. In this scenario, a jury (assuming your case went to trial) would likely find that the other driver was primarily at fault. In order to determine your financial compensation, the jury would then:
If your total losses were $100,000 and the jury determines that the other driver was 95 percent at fault, then you would be entitled to recover $95,000.
This is a fairly straightforward example. Most accident cases are far more complex. Most accident cases also settle through the insurance companies without going to trial. If you are concerned that you may have been partially at fault in an accident, the key thing to remember is that you should make any assumptions or decisions about your claim without experienced legal representation.
For more information about your rights after a car accident in Orange Park, you can contact us for a free consultation. To speak with one of our experienced attorneys in confidence, please call (904) 737-4700 or inquire online today.