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What If I’m Partially to Blame for Causing an Accident?

We don’t often think about it, but driving a car is a complicated job. Automobiles have lots of complex parts operating on roads filled with other drivers of varying abilities, not to mention conditions that could turn into hazards at any moment. So when you get into an accident, auto accident lawyers know that a combination of different factors likely caused it. Maybe another driver was talking on a cell phone, and a pile of yard waste partially blocked the vision around a corner, and you were late signaling a turn. All three of these factors contributed to the cause of the crash, and one of them was your fault. Does that mean you are out of luck?

In many cases, auto accident lawyers in Ft. Lauderdale can help injured drivers recover compensation even when their own actions contributed to the cause of the accident. Read on to learn more.

How Lawyers Use the Comparative Fault Rule

Different jurisdictions handle the issue of combined fault in different ways. In some states, if an injured person can be held responsible for even a tiny portion of the causation of an accident, they cannot recover from others involved. This is often referred to as contributory negligence. 

In other states, an accident victim may only recover compensation if their actions contributing to the accident account for less than half of the blame. Under our state’s comparative fault statute, however, accident victims are in a much better position. Fla. Statute §768.81 allows lawyers to help an injured person seek damages from others responsible for causing an accident regardless of the degree of fault for each party. 

What’s the Catch? Comparative Fault and Damage Recovery

If you are considered to be 60% at fault for causing an accident, and another driver is considered to be 40% at fault, it would not be fair to make that other driver pay for all of the damage, injuries, and suffering resulting from the accident. A court will determine the amount of fault attributable to each person, and then the amount of compensation received is adjusted to account for the injured person’s degree of responsibility. 

In the example above, for instance, the court could find that the driver talking on the phone should have 50% of the blame, the person who left yard waste in the road was 30% to blame, and you were 20% at fault for waiting too long to signal your lane change. If Ft. Lauderdale auto accident attorneys presented evidence to show that your damages totaled $100,000, the amount you actually recover would be reduced by 20% to account for your share of the responsibility. Instead of $100,000, you would be awarded $80,000.

Talk to Ft. Lauderdale Auto Accident Lawyers to Learn About Your Options

Every accident is unique. To determine the causes of the accident and the parties that may share in the responsibility, it is best to start investigating as soon as possible while evidence is still fresh. If you suffered injuries in an accident, it is wise to consult experienced Ft. auto accident lawyers quickly to give them a chance to start gathering evidence right away. For a free consultation to learn what may be possible in your case, contact the Maus Law Firm now.

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