Understanding Auto Negligence in Florida

 

automobile negligence

It happens every day: you’re driving to your destination, minding your driving, when seemingly out of nowhere, a car hits you, causing extensive damage and injuries. Car accidents are unfortunate and can leave you hurt and facing unexpected expenses. 

In a car wreck, a negligent party is often responsible for the accident. It is essential to know and understand what automobile negligence means and how Florida handles auto negligence.

What Is Auto Negligence?

Negligence typically occurs when someone is not acting reasonably as others would in the same situation. Negligence is not only related to actions but can also happen through inaction or omission. Auto negligence occurs when a driver is not driving reasonably and responsibly, typically resulting in an accident and injury to others.

Automobile Negligence and Fault in Florida

While car accidents often result from one driver’s negligent driving, multiple parties can hold some level of responsibility in certain situations. Florida operates under a legal doctrine of “pure comparative negligence.” Under this doctrine, a driver’s percentage of fault will determine the amount of compensation they are entitled to.

Fortunately, even if you played a role in your accident, you can still recover damages. For example, one day, you are driving to work, and another driver runs a stop sign and hits your vehicle. However, you were distracted by your cell phone when the collision occurred.

After an investigation, your insurance company determines you were 30% at fault for your accident. If your damages are $10,000, 30% of this amount is deducted, leaving you with $7,000. 

Common Steps to Prove Negligence

To prove the other driver was negligent, you must satisfy four elements:

  • The other driver owed you a duty of care;
  • They breached this duty of care;
  • This breach caused an accident; and
  • The accident resulted in damages.

First, you must establish that the other driver owed you a duty of care. While driving, a driver has a duty to drive responsibly to keep others on the road safe. If someone drives recklessly or irresponsibly, they have breached this duty owed to you, satisfying the second element.

If the breach results in an accident, it satisfies the third element. If your accident resulted in injuries or damage, the fourth element is satisfied.

Can a Lawyer Help After My Accident?

A car accident attorney can be an invaluable ally in your legal battle. While you are not required to have legal representation, an attorney can provide priceless peace of mind and help you get a more favorable result. A car accident lawyer can help in many ways, including:

  • Thoroughly investigating your claim;
  • Gathering relevant evidence;
  • Interviewing witnesses;
  • Calculating damages; and
  • Engaging in settlement negotiations. 

Many car accident cases settle outside the courtroom. However, without an attorney, you will likely be unaware of the damages owed to you, which may result in an unfair settlement. Insurance companies are always looking to settle quickly, leading to low settlement offers.

Your attorney will calculate your damages to help ensure you get the compensation you truly deserve. If your case does not settle and ends up in the courtroom, an experienced attorney will gladly accept the challenge. 

Car accidents often leave victims stressed, frustrated, and injured. Having a qualified car accident attorney working on your case allows you to focus on your recovery, knowing your case is in the best hands. 

Ask Us Your Questions—We’re Here to Help

Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon is a full-service law firm, proudly serving clients since 1913. We strive to provide legal help when our clients need it most, offering the most personalized service. We want our clients to feel like they are our top priority, feeling confident in their decision to choose us.

Our team works tirelessly to help get clients the fairest settlement after an unfortunate accident. Our work often leads to strong, long-lasting relationships with clients, which we treasure and appreciate. We offer free case evaluations. Contact us today, and let’s see how we can help you.