As car accident lawyers in Miami, we analyze accidents to see whether there is a case. There are simple legal principles that govern this area and your lawyer would need to show in order for you to recover. A driver must have had a duty to drive in a certain way. And, that driver must have breached or broken that duty. That breach must have caused damages. If these four elements are met, then we may be able to establish a case for you.
Drivers breach their duty of care when their conduct imposes an unreasonable risk upon another which results in injury. This standard is one where the courts must make case by case determinations. Duty of care owed depends on the relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant. Breach of duty can be established by showing that the driver failed to observe duties that are common custom and usage. Drivers also breach their duty of care when they violate a statute. Courts can consider violation of a statute sometimes to be negligence per se, or negligence in and of itself. In a negligence per se situation, there is a presumption of negligence. Other times, the violation of a statute is evidence of negligence.
Often times, what can be difficult about breach of duty in a car crash case is that many factors and people can contribute to the ultimate crash. This leads to the issue of causation in a car accident. Florida Law has a system to deal with multiple people’s negligence leading to the ultimate accident including the victim (Fla. Stat. 768.81). In some states, an accident victim cannot recover if they are at fault for the accident in addition to the other driver. In Florida, however, the victim can collect from all people who are at fault because it is a comparative liability state. This means, that in Florida, each person is only responsible for the percentage their negligent actions contributed to the accident. For example, let’s say that three people are all speeding on the highway all in the same lane one behind the other. Then suddenly a fourth car rapidly changes lanes without signaling causing all four cars to pile into each other. The car that changed lanes in the front would not necessarily be the only one at fault, each of the three other participants negligence in speeding would also be considered, so long as they were brought into the suit by either the plaintiff or the defendant as an affirmative defense. If not all defendants are named in the suit, then the burden is on the defendant to plead and prove another party’s negligence contributed to the accident. See Nash v. Wells 678 So. 2d 1262 (1996).
Additionally, the Florida Supreme court has interpreted Florida Statute 768.81(3) to mean that each defendant should pay for noneconomic damages only in proportion to the percentage of fault by which that defendant contributed to the accident. In order to do this, it is necessary to determine the percentage of fault of all entities who contributed to the accident regardless of whether they are joined as defendants. In some automobile accident cases, the injured party may also have been negligent and have contributed to the injuries. Negligence by the injured party is referred to as comparative or contributory negligence. In Florida, comparative negligence by the injured party will reduce any potential monetary recovery that he/she is entitled to by the percentage of negligence attributable to the injured party, but will not bar the victim from recovery. That means that you can be at fault for the accident in part yet still recover. However, you cannot recover for the portion of the crash that you are responsible for. Another important factor to consider in Florida car accidents, is that the failure to use a seatbelt constitutes comparative negligence.
A simple car accident presents numerous and complicated legal issues. The car accident attorneys at Wolfson Law Firm in Miami have over 55 years of collective experience in the legal analysis and evaluation of car accident cases. We are ready to help you. Just call us at (305) 285-1115 today for a free consultation. Jonah Wolfson is a bilingual personal injury attorney. Let our Miami Car Accident Lawyers review your case and provide you with an in-depth analysis. We can help strategize with you so that you achieve the result that you deserve.
The Wolfson Law Firm personal injury attorneys represent people throughout Florida including Homestead, Shenandoah, Riverside, Wynwood, Overtown, Kendal, Palmetto Bay, Venetian Islands, Lummus Park and all the incredible neighborhoods and communities throughout South Florida.
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