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How is Fault Determined in a Car Accident in Florida?

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Fault can be determined by a judge using evidence collected from the parties involved in the accident, their attorneys, insurance claims adjustors, and the police officers who responded. Florida is a no-fault state, so the determination of it does not play as significant a role as it does in other states. The driver’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance covers their medical bills no matter who is liable.

However, if your insurance is inadequate for paying your medical bills and other losses, you may file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver to receive compensation. If this has happened to you, contact the Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers at Kogan & DiSalvo for a free consultation. We leverage decades of experience representing personal injury victims throughout Southeast Florida.

Comparative Negligence

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In Florida, modified comparative negligence is used to determine the percentage of fault for each party. While there are many accidents where one driver is clearly at-fault, there are some where both parties are equally responsible.

For instance, if a driver runs through a stop sign or red light and hits another vehicle, they will receive the highest percentage of fault under modified comparative negligence statutes. However, if it turns out that the other driver exceeded the speed limit at the time of the collision, they may find themselves partly responsible. In this example, the driver who ran the stop sign or red light could be 80% at-fault, while the other driver may be assigned 20%. Therefore, any award they receive would be reduced by that percentage. That means a $100,000 settlement would become $80,000.

The Serious Injury Threshold

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In Florida, the serious injury threshold allows you to step out of the no-fault system and file a personal injury lawsuit. However, your injuries must meet the following criteria:

  • Significant or permanent loss of a bodily function.
  • Permanent injury
  • Permanent and significant scarring.

An injury severe enough to cause death also qualifies. In such cases, your family could file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. Finally, no fault insurance does not address property damage. You may file a claim against the at-fault driver for damage to your vehicle.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Florida

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If you or someone you know suffered a serious injury because of another party’s negligence or recklessness, contact an experienced car accident attorney at Kogan & DiSalvo. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today. When you need a full-service law firm that takes cases on a contingency basis, you can depend on us.

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