Determining who was at fault in a car accident

June 12, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Determining who was at fault for an accident in Florida is a decision usually made by a judge. This decision is made based on the information collected from all parties involved in the accident. Input comes from insurance claim adjusters, legal representatives and police officers who responded to the accident.

Determining fault

The court considers four factors when determining fault in Florida motor vehicle accidents. The first factor is the duty of care, which refers to the responsible driver’s obligation to ensure the safety and well-being of the injured party. The second factor is a breach of duty, which occurs when the responsible driver intentionally or negligently fails to fulfill their duty of care. The third factor is causation, which demonstrates that the breach of duty directly caused the accident. Finally, there are the damages, encompassing the injuries or losses resulting from the accident.

Identifying the at-fault party

Florida operates as a no-fault state, meaning that individuals are not exempt from legal responsibility in the event of a crash. It signifies that each injured party must initially pursue damages through their own insurance company when multiple vehicles or individuals are involved.

In Florida, a person can be at fault in an automobile accident even if the accident is not entirely their fault. This is due to the implementation of a comparative negligence standard. Under this standard, a percentage of fault gets attributed to both drivers involved in the accident. Consequently, drivers can receive compensation based on their assigned percentage of fault.

For instance, consider a scenario where an individual is rear-ended by someone texting or driving at excessive speed while the first person changes lanes without signaling. Both parties share a portion of the fault in the accident. If the court determines that one driver is 20% at fault and the other driver is 80% at fault, they might award the driver with 20% fault and $90,000 in compensation. However, their actual recovery would be 80%, approximately $72,000.

Everyone makes mistakes while behind the wheel. Recovering compensation from insurance companies after an accident can be a challenge. Understanding Florida’s laws about car accidents can make that process easier.

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