How Negligence Can Impact Your Auto Wreck Claim
After being involved in a car accident, you’re likely seeking financial compensation for your damages by filing an insurance claim. Any claim hinges on proving the person who caused the crash was negligent. But what if the at-fault party claims you were also negligent?
Negligence is a key part of car accident lawsuits, so it’s important you know what to expect. The lawyers at Gross & Schuster, P.A. can help you get the answers you need about negligence and your claim.
What is Negligence?
Negligence means a failure to exercise the right amount of care to protect those around you.
Let’s say someone is driving to the convenience store. If someone walked out in front of the car and they did everything they could to avoid hitting a pedestrian, they were practicing the due diligence one should show behind the wheel.
But what if the driver was texting or ignoring the road? In these cases, they weren’t taking care to avoid an accident and may be accused of negligence.
Ways to Prove Negligence in an Accident Claim
One of the best ways to prove negligence in a car accident claim is through eyewitness testimony. If another witness saw what happened, and will testify about it in court, then you have excellent evidence against the defendant.
It’s important to note that you can’t use hearsay evidence, or statements made by other people unless these statements are made under oath or under penalty of perjury.
In many cases, there won’t be any witnesses to your accident. That leaves your lawyer with the task of finding other ways to prove negligence, usually through physical evidence. This evidence may include:
- Video captured by nearby surveillance cameras
- Broken glass from your car hitting another vehicle
- Damage to public property, i.e. stop signs or utility poles
- Skid marks from tires
- Indicators that the other driver was in the wrong lane or failed to stop
If you sustained injuries as a result of someone’s carelessness and they are found liable at trial, there should be some compensation awarded toward medical bills and lost wages you’re due. But what if you’re found to have partial responsibility for the wreck?
Pure Comparative Negligence Laws
Florida operates under pure comparative negligence laws. That means the court will divide the blame among all involved drivers based on their percentage of fault.
If you’re accused of partial fault because you were looking at your GPS and ran a stop sign, for instance, your compensation may be reduced. That’s because compensation is calculated as a percentage in relation to your share of the blame. As an example, if the court finds you 20% at fault for an accident with damages totaling $20,000, then you would be awarded $16,000.
Get the Compensation Owed to You
Understanding how negligence can impact your auto wreck claim is nuanced and complex. It’s essential that you have a properly trained and experienced personal injury attorney on your side so you’re not at a disadvantage.
Chat with Gross & Schuster, P.A. to get the answers you need. Your car accident lawyer can start with a free consultation, so you know what to expect before you file. To begin, give us a call at 850-434-3333 or fill out the online contact form below.
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