While it is true that some Miami car accidents leave no doubt in terms of who caused the incident, there are many others that are not so clear-cut. Most auto collisions involve multiple contributing factors about which motorist’s conduct was a primary or secondary cause, and Florida’s law on comparative fault addresses this type of situation. The statute states that your potential compensation in a motor vehicle crash claim may be reduced if your own actions are linked to the accident. Your monetary damages are decreased proportionally by the percentage of your fault.
In other words, you not only need to prove that the other driver was at fault – but you also need to present evidence that you were NOT, or that your contribution to the accident was minimal. A Miami car accidents attorney can explain the details, since contributory fault involves many of the same negligent acts you might allege against the other motorist. For instance, you could receive less in compensation if you were:
- Speeding: When you are speeding, you have less time to react to traffic-related threats that can cause an accident. As such, even though the other driver may have been at fault by engaging in other careless actions, you could also contribute to the incident because you were traveling faster than what officials have set as the safe speed limit for that particular area.
- Drunk Driving: If you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs when the crash occurred, you will be found comparatively negligent in most situations – regardless of the careless conduct of someone else.
- Making Improper Lane Changes: Swerving over into another lane, not using your turn signal, or passing over a solid line are all examples of improper lane changes that could constitute comparative fault. Another driver might have been violating other traffic laws, but your actions are unsafe because they make you unpredictable.
- Distracted Driving: You know that talking, texting, or other phone use is dangerous, but it could also affect your compensation if you were involved in an accident that was arguably another driver’s fault. Stay off the phone for your own safety – and to protect your interests in a claim.
- Driving While Fatigued: Exhaustion slows your response time and limits your ability to identify safety threats. Insurance companies will often ask where you were coming from and how long you’d been driving, because they’re trying to pinpoint whether fatigue played a role in the accident.
Reach Out to a Miami Car Accidents Lawyer About Your Options
As you can see, your rights in an auto crash claim may come down to a classic “he said-she said” situation in which you attempt to assess the amount of fault attributable to each driver. Comparative negligence concepts in Florida could greatly reduce your compensation, so it is wise to trust our team at Gerson & Schwartz, PA to protect your interests. For more information on our legal services, please contact our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL. We can explain your rights and remedies after reviewing the details of your claim.