When you share responsibility for a crash, can you claim damages for the harm or loss you suffered? The answer to that largely depends on your jurisdiction. In some states, you cannot get any compensation if you had anything to do with the crash, while in others, your level of fault is the determining factor.
Florida follows comparative negligence rules. If you share the responsibility for the crash, you can recover damages. However, your compensation is limited to the percentage you were not at fault. In short, your fault diminishes the settlement amount you would have recovered.
For example, if you were 40% to blame for the accident, you can only recover 60% of the amount of damages awarded. The other driver will receive the rest.
How is this determined?
Establishing each driver’s fault is crucial to every car accident claim in Florida. Insurance companies often engage investigators to look into the circumstances of a crash and determine how it occurred.
The drivers’ statements, eyewitness testimonies and police reports can help establish the facts of the crash and whether the drivers share fault. It is well within your rights to dispute the insurer’s findings if you believe they are inaccurate.
Protecting your interests after a car accident
If you suffer injuries or property damage in a crash, it helps to understand the do’s and don’ts that will help protect your claim. For starters, you should not admit fault or issue statements to insurance adjusters that could allude to responsibility for the crash. Such admissions may be used against you.
Also, consider reaching out for legal representation as soon as possible, preferably immediately after the accident. It could help you maximize the claim and safeguard your legal rights.