If you were injured in an auto accident, you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of how to proceed. However, understanding comparative negligence in St. Petersburg car accident claims is essential to understand whether or not you can seek compensation for your losses.
Because of the nuances of this system in Florida, working with a knowledgeable lawyer might prove beneficial. A skilled attorney could help to explain your rights, assess liability after a wreck, and guide you through each step of the ensuing legal process.
Defining Comparative Negligence in St. Petersburg
Like much of Florida, St. Petersburg is a comparative negligence jurisdiction. Compared with a contributory negligence system, it is often easier to recover compensation through a comparative negligence system. An example of this might be during a rear-end collision—if a driver stops suddenly and inappropriately, forcing the trailing driver to do so as well, a third car in the line might rear-end the second vehicle.
In this case, it may be determined that the person who was rear-ended had a minor portion of the fault because they stopped suddenly, despite their ability to stop without rear-ending a car themselves. Here, the person that did rear-end them was perhaps driving too fast or not paying attention, meaning they would likely carry 80 to 90 percent of the fault.
Under these circumstances, the injured driver may only hold a small amount of fault—perhaps 10 to 15 percent—but, under comparative negligence, they could still pursue a claim to request partial compensation. However, in a comparative jurisdiction, they would typically be barred from going forward with a claim due to any portion of their own liability.
How Comparative Negligence is Applicable During Car Crash Injury Cases
As mentioned above, comparative negligence typically comes into play in St. Petersburg during car crash cases. Essentially, it allows an injured party to proceed with a claim against an at-fault driver, notwithstanding what the injured claimant might have done. This system allows the jury to determine what percentage of liability belongs to the claimant, as well as the defendant.
Because of the variety of factors that might contribute to a crash, there are numerous elements that must be considered during a claim. For example, many cases involve up to four parties who each hold a small percentage of fault—which often means there is a lack of primary cause. This might happen if one person was going slightly over the speed limit, but another person cut them off, causing a crash. If one driver was intoxicated, on the other hand, they would likely be the primary cause of a wreck.
During a claim under comparative negligence, an injured plaintiff could recover reduced compensation based on their fault. If, for example, a claimant is determined to be 25 percent at fault for a crash, they might still be able to recover 75 percent of the awarded damages.
Retain a Lawyer to Discuss Comparative Negligence in St. Petersburg Car Crash Claims
If you were injured in an auto accident, you may feel unsure of your legal rights and how to proceed with a claim. Determining fault is often a complex and exhaustive legal process, especially for underprepared claimants.
Instead of navigating the claims process alone, consider reaching out to an experienced lawyer to discuss comparative negligence in St. Petersburg car accident claims and how you might be able to proceed. To begin building a claim, call a proactive and well-versed attorney today.