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What happens if a Florida car accident victim was at fault?

It is certainly not unusual for both drivers in an auto accident to share some degree of responsibility for causing the collision. A motorist exceeding the posted speed limit may not be able to stop in time to avoid crashing into another vehicle whose driver rolled through a stop sign without first coming to a complete stop.

Catastrophic injuries to each of the drivers could result in each of them filing lawsuits against each other for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. People usually associate a car accident as being caused by a negligent driver, but state legislatures and courts must also deal with situations in which a person suffering a personal injury in an accident might share some of the responsibility for causing it.

Lake County residents who find themselves in the situation of being injured in an auto accident, in which they might share fault with the other driver, benefit from state law that allows courts to apportion fault. Under Florida law, the percentage to which the party suing to recover compensation for car accident injuries was at fault, or negligent, in contributing to the accident will reduce the amount the victim may recover, but it will not prevent the person from receiving some compensation.

For example, an injured plaintiff who is found by a judge or jury to be 30 percent at fault in causing the accident could still recover damages, but the amount the plaintiff would have received will be reduced by 30 percent. Florida refers to this as contributory fault.

Negligence and contributory fault are areas of the law that are too complex to be covered completely in a post such as this one. This post is intended as an overview of the topic, but it is not legal advice that should only be obtained from a personal injury attorney.

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