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Who is liable in your Florida car accident

Car accident liability tends to boil down to the questions of which driver was at fault for the crash, and was that driver negligent? Negligence relates to a person's failure to act in a reasonable way to prevent harm to others.

Florida civil courts determine the issue of "reasonableness" based on what a reasonable person generally would have done in the same circumstances. For example, if a police officer has just pulled someone over on the side of the road, a reasonable passing driver would slow down and move to the left lane to give more space and prevent a potential accident.

Florida's comparative negligence system

The law in Florida employs a comparative negligence system to decide the level that someone is liable in a particular negligence case. Under this system, negligent drivers are liable to the degree at which they were at fault for causing someone's injuries.

Let's say, for example, that you were changing to a new lane on the highway, but you failed to activate your turn signal to indicate the lane change. Then, as you were changing lanes, a speeding driver comes up from behind and hits your car. A court may decide that you are 40 percent at fault for failing to use your blinker and the speeding driver was 60 percent at fault for violating traffic speed laws.

In this example, the liability for financial damages will thus be shared by both you and the speeding driver and you won't be able to receive 100 percent compensation for the costs associated with your injuries, medical care and property damages.

File a personal injury claim for financial damages in court

Florida residents who get hurt in car crashes can investigate whether they have a viable personal injury claim by speaking with a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer will review accident reports from the police, witness testimony, as well as the injured person's personal account and the extent of his or her injuries to determine whether the plaintiff can hold the at fault party liable for financial damages.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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