Even though most vehicle collisions are caused by one negligent party, sometimes the victim may also be partially responsible for the collision. For example, one driver may have been texting while driving while the other may have been speeding. In such an incident, if both drivers drove carefully while being mindful of other road users, the collision could have been avoided. But things tend to happen so it’s best to have all the information if you are involved in any type of accident.
What if I am partly or mostly at fault for the vehicle crash?
If you are found partially at fault for a vehicle collision in Florida, you may still be eligible for monetary compensation for your lost income, medical bills, and other losses. This is due to Florida’s pure comparative negligence law, which stipulates that you may be entitled to compensation based on your percentage of fault. Therefore, if you were 10% negligent, then you will recover only 90% of your losses.
Florida’s no-fault laws
Florida is also a no-fault state, which means that if you are involved in a vehicle collision, then you will file a claim under your injury insurance or personal injury protection (PIP) to pay for your medical bills and other losses. The no-fault law requires each driver in the state to have a minimum of $10,000 in PIP and a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL). Therefore, if your accident was not severe, you will have to file your claim with your own insurance company to recover lost income, medical bills, and other losses. However, if your injuries are extremely severe, then you can be able to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver who hit you and holds them liable for your losses.
What should I do if I am partly responsible for the collision?
If you believe that you might be partly responsible for the vehicle crash, you should remain quiet to avoid saying something that may implicate you. Furthermore, you should not admit fault to the other drivers or insurance companies if you speak to them. For instance, you can ask about how the other driver is doing health-wise, but do not apologize, because it may seem like you are sorry for causing the vehicle collision. In addition, when you are speaking to the police officer, discuss alone, without anyone else around.
Furthermore, you should try your best to recount what happened before the crash without admitting you were at fault. Even though you may be scared after the accident, you should share the relevant incident facts and be truthful without implicating yourself.
What damages can I recover?
If you were partly responsible for the collision, you can still claim damages. You can get financial compensation for pain and suffering, lost income, property damage, medical bills, and loss of earning capacity among others. While it may not be much of a difference, any type of financial compensation can help. Missing out on working or having to pay for damages for a vehicle adds up over time.
To conclude, if you have sustained injuries in an accident that you partly caused, you should reach out to a lawyer who can guide you on how to protect your legal rights without implicating yourself. In addition, the lawyer can take care of the legal process of seeking damages as you focus on healing. You are still entitled to a lawyer even if the accident was partially your fault. Your lawyer will be able to review all the details you present to them and see where you can receive any type of compensation.