How Does Florida’s Comparative Negligence Law Impact Car Accident Claims?
Comparative negligence in Florida affects car accident claims because it reduces potential compensation by your degree of fault. If you bear more than half of the fault for a car accident in Florida, this law prevents you from seeking compensation. Florida car accident laws are ever evolving, but the state follows a modified comparative negligence system.
A Florida car accident lawyer can conduct an independent investigation to counter an insurance adjuster’s determination of fault. They can also handle your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit while you rest and recover.
Contributory Negligence in Florida
House Bill 837 changed Florida’s pure comparative negligence law to a modified comparative negligence law in March 2023. Claimants can now seek compensation only if they are no more than 50% liable for the accident.
In Florida, drivers of vehicles with four or more wheels must carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which allows them to access a minimum amount of medical coverage regardless of who caused the accident. Once they step outside that system, the modified comparative negligence law applies.
How Insurance Adjusters Determine Car Accident Liability in Florida
With the current negligence laws in Florida, car accident victims may start to wonder who determines liability for an accident. Insurance adjusters usually investigate and determine fault when filing an insurance claim, assigning percentages to each driver involved.
This means if an insurance adjuster assigns you more than 50% of the fault, the court can bar you from seeking compensation. Florida fault in car accidents can, therefore, become heavily contested. You don’t have to battle an insurance company alone. The benefit of having a car accident attorney is they can conduct an independent investigation to counter the findings of an insurance adjuster and negotiate for a settlement.
Types of Evidence a Car Accident Lawyer May Gather
A personal injury lawyer may compile a variety of evidence to prove that the other party in your case owes you compensation. Potential forms of evidence include:
- A police report
- Pictures of the accident scene and the dama
- ged vehicles
- Eyewitness statements
- Expert witness testimony, such as an accident reconstructionist
- Medical bills and records
- Traffic camera footage, dashcam footage, or footage from nearby surveillance cameras
You won’t have to gather this evidence if you hire a fort lauderdale car accident lawyer. They can take care of that task for you.
Potential Compensation in a Florida Car Accident Case
You may stand to recover various damages after a car accident. Your potential compensation depends on the extent of your accident injuries and how they will affect you long-term. Victims who suffer disabling injuries often seek future damages, such as ongoing medical care, to help them cope with their injuries down the road.
A lawyer can work to secure the following damages that apply to your case:
- Current and ongoing medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Impaired quality of life
- In-home aid and home modifications
- Lost income if you had to take time off work to heal
- Reduced earning capacity if you cannot return to work or earn your pre-injury income
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Out-of-pocket expenses related to your accident injuries
They can help you assess your economic and non-economic losses by gathering your medical bills, expert witness testimony, and wage statements.
Other Florida Personal Injury Laws That Could Affect Your Car Accident Case
Aside from filing an insurance claim, you can also seek compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the other party. In this case, other state laws come into play. For example, Florida Statutes § 95.11 generally states that you only have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you miss this deadline, you risk seeing the court dismiss your case entirely.
The sooner you start on your case, the more time a Miami car accident lawyer will have to protect your right to take legal action. Keep in mind that it takes time to build a case. A fort myers car accident lawyer must investigate, negotiate with an insurer, and submit case paperwork. The best way to protect your case is by getting started immediately.
Some personal injury law firms work on contingency, allowing you to start your case without paying upfront attorney fees. These law firms usually also offer free consultations so you can get clarity on your legal options without making any obligations.
Call the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato for Help With a Florida Car Accident Case
You deserve fair compensation for your losses after a car accident in Florida. The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato is ready to fight for you. We can explain more about comparative negligence in Florida and how it affects your car accident case.
We take car accident cases on contingency. Call us today at (954) 633-8270 for a free consultation.