Q. I may have been partially responsible for my accident. Do I still need to contact an attorney?
A. Absolutely. There are a couple of reasons for this.
- First, you may not even be responsible at all. It’s not as easy as some think to determine their level of fault in an accident, and letting a lawyer review your case is the only way to really know for sure just who is to blame and what your role in the accident may have been.
- If you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident, you likely have PIP. All Florida residents are required to carry PIP, and it provides payment no matter who is to blame. Even if you think you’re at fault, you could still get money from your PIP policy. But a lawyer can help make sure that the amount you get is fair and just.
- Even if you’re partially to blame for the accident, you could still be able to receive financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit thanks to the way that Florida’s laws are structured.
The bottom line is that if you’re injured in an accident of any kind, you’ll need to contact a lawyer as soon as possible to make sure that you have the opportunity to get the money you are owed. It could be the key to getting back on your feet after an accident. Don’t assume that you don’t have rights just because you have some measure of fault in what happened.
Q. What does comparative negligence mean?
A. The big reason that you could still get money after an accident that you were partially to blame for lies in Florida’s laws. Florida is a comparative negligence state. This means that in personal injury cases, your amount of compensation could be directly related to the amount of fault that you have in an accident.
For instance, if a court finds that you are 50% at fault for the accident, this means that you could still receive damages from the accident. However, after determining what a fair damage amount is, you’ll only be entitled to 50% of that amount. If you’re 25% at fault, you will be entitled to 75% of the sum total of damages you’re owed.
Q. What Determines The Total Damages On Which My Settlement Is Based?
A. There’s no perfect, easy solution here. The bottom line is that a settlement amount is based on a wide range of factors including things like:
- Medical bills
- Future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future estimated lost waged
- Medications and medical supply costs
- Impact on future earning potential
- Impact on retirement funds, insurance, and other factors
Your lawyer will work with a financial expert to determine the true cost of your injuries. This figure is then used to negotiate settlements or to argue for your compensation in the court system. From there, the comparative negligence rules will be applied to give you the compensation that you are owed.
Q. How will my lawyer help me?
A. Your lawyer will do a lot to help make sure that you get what you deserve. In addition to working to determine what your true damages should be in your case, they will argue to make sure that you get the maximum possible amount. It’s common for the other side to try to push you around or say that you are responsible for more of the accident than you really are. Your attorney makes sure that doesn’t happen.
And since you have an attorney working on the case, you can rest assured that you won’t carry the burden of your financial debt as you try to recover financially. Having a lawyer not only helps get you what you deserve when you’re hurt in an accident, but they also help make sure that you are able to heal physically instead of constantly worrying about money or how much blame will be put on your shoulders.