Kimsey Law Firm, P.A.
Personal injury, motor vehicle accident injuries,ERISA and disability help for the Tampa Bay area.

Will your bad driving habits keep you from making a crash claim?

On Behalf of | Nov 3, 2022 | Auto Accidents

Given that at least some of your insurance coverage is no-fault protection, who is to blame for a crash may not seem like the biggest concern at first. However, as you start to understand the true financial impact of the collision, you may realize that you need to make a sizable claim against their insurance coverage in addition to any claim you may have made against your no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.

It can be very stressful to worry about whether or not insurance will cover all of your costs, especially if you’ve been out of work for some time. Insurance may not be enough to pay for your lost wages and medical expenses, especially because PIP may only pay 80% of your car costs.

Some crashes may require that you file a lawsuit against the other driver, in which scenario their fault for the crash will be quite important. If you have a bad driving habit, like eating at the wheel or forgetting to use your turn signals, could those mistakes in traffic affect your right to compensation?

Florida recognizes comparative fault in civil claims

A small mistake likely won’t alter your rights in an insurance claim. However, mistakes can come back to haunt you if you need to ask the civil courts for compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. Under the comparative fault rule used in personal injury lawsuits, a defendant can limit their financial responsibility by claiming that you partially caused the crash.

The burden of proof will be on them to corroborate such claims. If they can show that you were partially to blame for the wreck, then the courts will designate a percentage of fault for each of you. If you secure compensation at the end of your lawsuit, the courts will reduce what you receive by the percentage of responsibility you had for the wreck.

In other words, a mistake in traffic doesn’t eliminate your right to file a personal injury lawsuit. All your minor blunder will do is potentially reduce how much compensation the courts eventually award you. Making sense of the complicated rules that apply to Florida car crash claims will help those struggling to cover the costs of a recent collision.