After a car accident, injury victims and their family members who wish to recover compensation for their damages must understand their rights and potential remedies. Establishing fault after a Florida car accident is the most critical aspect of a personal injury claim. Typically if the other motorist’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness caused the accident, the victim may be entitled to compensation. However, if the other party establishes that the victim was also responsible for the accident, their compensation may be reduced by their fault level. Proving fault and refuting comparative negligence claims are a crucial part of the process.
Florida is a no-fault insurance state, which means that victims must file a claim with their insurance company after an accident, regardless of which party was at fault. The only exception to this rule is if the victim suffered permanent injuries or injuries involving scarring and disfigurement. In Florida, fault is a critical part of this process because the state follows the comparative negligence model of liability. Juries generally calculate two things, the total amount of the plaintiff’s damages and the percentage of fault that belongs to each party. Then a plaintiff’s recovery is reduced by the level of fault the jury attributes to them.
Florida victims must establish fault and refute comparative negligence claims if they wish to recover the maximum amount of compensation for their damages. Establishing fault requires the plaintiff to prove that the other party failed to act reasonably and breached their duty of care. One of the many ways a plaintiff can establish this is by gathering witness statements. Witness statements can provide juries with valuable insight into the events leading up to the accident. Next, digital evidence in the form of photos or videos can provide the jury with vital information. Moreover, if a victim can prove that the other driver was violating a Florida traffic law, the court may impute liability based on negligence per se. This often occurs if the at-fault party received a traffic citation or is arrested after an accident for a traffic crime such as impaired driving or speeding.