If you’ve ever been in a traffic accident, you know that nobody ever wants to admit it was their fault. As soon as the cars come to a stop, the two drivers get out and start pointing the finger at the other one. That’s why it’s so hard for your Orlando car accident lawyer to prove fault in your lawsuit. As much as they want to believe your version of the story, they know the defendant will have their own version of events.
While you insist the other driver caused the crash, they’re going to say it was your fault. If your Orlando car accident lawyer can’t prove that they caused the accident, you won’t get any damages. The whole point of hiring an attorney is to get compensation for your injuries. That’s why it’s important that you be honest with them from the start. You don’t want them to get blindsided halfway through your case. If you think you were partially at fault, let them know. At least this way they can prepare for whatever the defendant’s lawyer has to say.
It’s Not Easy to Determine Who is at Fault in a Florida Car Wreck
Orlando car accident lawyers can count on one hand the cases they handled where someone purposely caused an accident. Usually, it’s primarily caused by one driver. However, rarely if ever, is one driver totally blameless. Even if you didn’t cause the crash, there’s probably something you could’ve done to mitigate damages. Maybe you weren’t paying attention at the time of the crash and ran into the car in front of you. Or perhaps you were driving a little too fast to stop the car in time to avoid a collision. Your Orlando car accident lawyer will have to review the police report to determine what really happened.
Your Orlando Car Accident Lawyer Will Have to Prove Negligence
In order for you to recover damages, your Orlando car accident lawyer will have to prove negligence. This is just a fancy way of saying the other driver wasn’t as careful as they should’ve been. In order to demonstrate that the defendant was indeed negligent, your Orlando car accident lawyer needs to show the following four (4) things:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care – This won’t be hard to prove. We all owe other motorists a certain duty of care. At a minimum, they’re required to obey all traffic laws.
- They breached this duty – The defendant has to have done something that a reasonable person wouldn’t have done. For example, maybe they were texting and driving. Or perhaps they were drunk at the time of the crash.
- You were hurt – It’s not enough that you were involved in an accident. Your Orlando car accident lawyer also needs to prove that you were hurt. The best way to do this is with your medical records.
- Your injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach – The other driver may claim that something other than the crash caused your injuries. If you don’t go immediately to the hospital after your accident, they’ll claim something else could have caused your injuries.
You Can Still Collect Damages Even if You’re Partially at Fault
Ideally, your Orlando car accident lawyer will be able to convince the insurance company that the other driver was at fault. However, more than likely, both of you will be found somewhat at fault. The good news is that, as long as you’re less than 50% at fault, you can still collect damages. This is because Florida follows the comparative fault rule. This means that you can still collect damages, as long as you’re less than 50% at fault. Just keep in mind – your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. So, if your claim is for $100,000 and you’re found to be 20% at fault, your damages will be reduced by $20,000.
Technically, Florida’s law allows you to file suit, even if you’re 99% at fault. However, if that’s the case, the defendant will likely be suing you. If you’re established to be more than 50% at fault, the other driver will likely file a counterclaim.
Contact an Experienced Orlando Car Accident Lawyer Right Away
If you’re hurt in any sort of car accident, you need help. Start by calling an experienced Orlando car accident attorney and scheduling your free, initial consultation. The defendant will have a team of lawyers working for them, and you should too.