How is Fault Determined in Florida Car Accidents?
How can you tell who was at fault after a collision in the state of Florida?
The answer involves understanding state law and the systems that Florida uses to protect drivers and passengers.
No-Fault Auto Insurance Rules
The first thing to know is that Florida is a no-fault state that uses personal injury protection or PIP insurance to protect accident injury victims.
What this means is that drivers are almost always getting their compensation directly from their own insurance companies, rather than seeking it from the insurance company of the at-fault driver. In a lot of cases, the question of fault doesn’t even come into play. But in other cases, it does. Every case requires the trained eye of a professional car accident attorney who can figure out what factors apply and how to work toward fair resolution.
Florida law also has a principal called comparative negligence, where experts determine a percentage of fault for each party.
If a person runs a stop sign and hits another vehicle that had the right-of-way, that driver is generally assumed to be at fault. However, if the other vehicle was speeding at the time, they might be assigned a small portion of fault – officials might split the fault 80/20 or 75/25, or some other way. Obviously, this adds complexity to the process of resolving a car accident case, and documentation of the scene or eyewitnesses helps a great deal.
Where fault does come into play is in specific cases involving disfigurement or scarring or other extreme injury. In these cases, the victim can sue the at-fault driver.
There are a lot more legal nuts and bolts involved in Florida car accident cases. The combination of no-fault auto insurance and other state rules makes some of these cases rather complex. There’s also the issue of trying to collect adequate compensation from insurance companies that may generally not like to pay out on claims unless they have to.
Come see the law office of Steve Watrel for any of your legal needs after a car accident. This Jacksonville office takes a team approach and excels in providing personalized care to each client. We’re not a big firm with hundreds of caseloads that assigns a number to your name. We are an established local firm that helps with all sorts of personal injury and car accident cases, as well as nursing home abuse cases and more. Talk to the professionals at the law office of Steve Watrel to get help every step of the way on your pursuit of justice.