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What You Should Know

Comparative Negligence in Auto Accident Cases

My name is Carrie Roane and I am a partner at Fasig|Brooks Law Offices, a personal injury law firm in Tallahassee and Orlando, Florida. I want to explain comparative negligence in auto accidents, which isn’t something many people know about unless they’ve been in a car crash.

Many times, when there’s one or more cars that are involved in a collision, Florida apportions fault. This means that if you’re in a car accident with another car and you’re found to be 40% at fault, you can recover for your injuries according to your share of fault. For example, if you have $100,000 in medical bills and you’re 40% at fault, you will be responsible for $40,000 of those medical bills and you can go after the other driver who is at fault for $60,000 of your medical bills.

How is comparative negligence determined? A lot of people think it’s determined by what the officer at the scene of determines in the accident, but that’s not true. That’s sometimes not even admissible in court. What you need to do is call a lawyer right away after you’re in an accident because the comparative fault is based on evidence. Evidence like marks in the road and evidence like witness testimony need to be fresh and written down.

Immediately after the accident, we need to get biomechanical engineers and accident reconstructionist involved. We need to have experts look at property damage on your car to figure out who was really at fault determine the at fault percentage. We want our clients and our potential clients to know that just because you might be partially at fault for an accident, doesn’t mean that you can’t recover from the other driver.

If you’ve been in an accident, especially if you have questions about comparative negligence, give us a call at 850.224.3310.