Car Accident Injury
Car accident and injury lawyers assist persons who have been injured in an automobile accident. This is a specialized sub-area of Personal Injury law.
One of the most critical elements in an auto accident related personal injury case is who is at fault for the accident in question. If one party is found to be entirely at fault or guilty of negligent or reckless behavior leading to the accident, then that party is typically liable for damages caused to other parties involved in the accident. If liability is not clear or if there is a finding of shared responsibility for the accident, then fault may be apportioned between the different parties involved. How the fault is apportioned is governed by state law.
There are four systems used in the US for determining damages in proportion to fault:
- Pure contributory negligence
- Pure comparative negligence
- Proportional comparative negligence at 50%
- Proportional comparative negligence at 51%
The last two derive from a similar model to the second and together they represent the laws adopted by the greater portion of states in the US (including Florida). Pure or proportional comparative negligence models allow an injured party who may be partially at fault for an accident to still recover some damages for his or her injuries.
A few states still adhere to an alternative known model referred to as pure contributory negligence. Pure contributory negligence prohibits an injured party from collecting any damages from an accident in which they are found to have been at all responsible or contributory.
At present, Florida falls into the pure comparative negligence bracket along with 12 other states. Under this system a judge or jury assigns a certain fault percentage to each responsible party and awarded damage are portioned out accordingly. An injured person may recover his or her damages even if that person was 99% at fault in causing the injury, but their damages will be proportionally reduced by the percentage of fault that has been assigned to him or her.
Of course, there is a lot more that goes into an accident case than just what system of law is used for awarding damages. If you are looking for a car accident attorney in St. Pete, Sarasota, Clearwater or anywhere else in the Tampa Bay area, get in touch with us today to schedule a free consultation. We can give you more information and discuss your specific case.