When you get hurt in a car accident, if it was the other driver's fault you can be eligible to receive a broad range of compensatory damages for the injuries you suffer from doctor's bills to emotional trauma. However, collecting these damages requires proving that the other driver bore responsibility for the accident, and this can sometimes be complicated. Discover the necessary theories, approaches and procedures to prove fault in a car accident, and how a qualified car accident lawyer makes a difference.
Why You Need to Prove Fault in a Car Accident
The problems that arise when you need to prove fault in a car accident is that Florida operates on a legal concept known as pure comparative negligence. What this means is that the state recognizes that a single person is rarely completely responsible for an accident. The old saying that it takes two to tango applies to most injuries.
That means you will be able to collect damages based on the degree of fault shared by each party. For example, let's say that the injury and damage you suffer is valued at $500,000. However, during negotiations and testimony it is established that you bore 20% of the fault for the accident. Your total compensation will be reduced by that amount. Since 20% of $500,000 is $100,000, you'll only be awarded $400,000 of the total damages.
Applying Negligence to the Case
Negligence is the core concept that comes into play when trying to determine who holds the blame for an accident. There are essentially three elements to negligence, and all three have to be established in order for you to get damages. The first of these is the duty of care. Since the law establishes that all drivers have a responsibility to be safe behind the wheel and not put others in danger, this is easy to establish.
The second of these is the violation of the duty. You must prove that the other driver violated the duty of care placed on all drivers, by acting irresponsibly, making a grossly poor decision, or failing to act in a way that a reasonable person would.
Finally, you must prove the accident and injury. That is, you have to demonstrate that it was the exact failure to uphold the duty of care that led directly or indirectly to the accident in question, and that the accident is what caused your injury.
What Damages Can I Collect?
In a car accident, if you can prove negligence, you may be eligible for a wide range of damages, including doctor's bills, medical procedures, rehabilitation, drug costs, and transportation. You can also receive coverage for your lost wages and loss of future compensation.
You might be eligible for damage to your ability to enjoy life, for emotional trauma, loss of companionship, pain and suffering and more. In severe cases usually involving DUI you might even be awarded punitive damages.
To collect these damages, however, you'll need help to establish full negligence on the part of the other driver. To do this you should hire an experienced car accident lawyer. For a free consultation of your case, call the Koberlein Law Offices for help today.