What if the accident is partially my fault? Could I still have a case?
By: Jason Neufeld, Esq.
Florida law recognizes a concept called “comparative
negligence.” Comparative negligence is how insurance companies and juries apportion (or distribute) fault. So if you
are entitled to $10,000 for injuries sustained in a car accident, but you are found to be 50% comparatively negligent (i.e.
that the accident was 50% your fault), you would be entitled to only $5,000.
Insurance companies make it their mission to try to find
any reason to assign you blame in an accident. This is just one of many reasons why you need a personal-injury attorney to
help you fight this fight.
I have seen situations where police officers, who I have
the utmost respect for, make mistakes in when they issue a ticket or document an accident. Just because the police officer
gives you a ticket or citation, this does not mean he/she properly investigated the facts (i.e. listened to your side of the
story, elicited the germane facts from witnesses, etc.). Remember, the police officer tends to arrive at the
scene of an accident AFTER the accident occurs! So they are not always in the best position to figure out who is really
Let’s say your run through an intersection, as a light
turns from yellow to red, and hit another car. If we can show that the other car was speeding, failed to properly watch out
for oncoming traffic, etc…, the accident may be deemed mostly your fault, but I would argue that some percentage should
be properly assigned to the other driver for the other driver’s failure to drive carefully and safely.
Obviously every situation is different. But when an accident
is mostly your fault, a recovery may still be possible (i.e. 20% of something is better than nothing). Obviously, these
are the more challenging cases, but certainly worth investigating.
Jason Neufeld, Esq. is an associate
with Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert P.A (NKP). For more information, please visit http://www.nkplaw.com, dial 1-800-379-TEAM
(8326), or email Jason directly at http://www.neufeldlawfirm.com/.