In general, insurance companies determine fault based on the state’s legal definition of negligence. Florida is a pure comparative negligence state, which means that an injured party can seek compensation of his or her damages even if partially at fault for the accident. However, the partially at fault party’s damages are be limited by the percentage of his own fault. For example, if a speeding driver rear-ends a driver who made an improper lane change, both drivers may bear a degree of fault each driver’s recovery may be limited by the percentage of his fault.
The initial determination of fault is generally made by a police officer at the scene of the accident. However, because a ticket cannot be used as evidence of fault in court, insurance adjusters have to conduct their own investigation into the circumstances of the accident prior to determining fault or assigning shares of fault. Although the adjuster’s liability determination is not final and can be contested, it is very difficult to turn the liability determination around without a personal injury attorney.
Contested liability cases are complex. They usually require presentation of substantial evidence of the circumstances of the accident and lengthy negotiations. The supporting evidence may include a police report, witness statements, photographs of the accident scene and property damage to all vehicles, accident reconstruction report, black box or EDR data, traffic camera video, etc., etc. At Anna Handy Law Firm, P.A. we knows how to assess and investigate the accident, know the law, and can advocate for the lowest percentage of fault on behalf of the client. If we are not able to work out a fair liability apportionment with the claim’s adjuster reach, we can file a lawsuit on your behalf to resolve the issue of fault in court.
Don’t assume that you cannot recover any of your damage just because you received a ticket or did something to contribute to the accident. Please give us a call for a free non-obligation consultation to see if we can help you make your case. (386) 248-3000.