If you are in a car accident in St. Petersburg and suffer injuries that max out your personal injury protection coverage, your personal injury lawyer may help you to sue the at-fault party for punitive damages. Punitive damages provide extra compensation for victims whose injuries were caused by the extreme recklessness or negligence of the at-fault party. This extra compensation can help cover your expenses.
Many drivers in St. Petersburg fight back against these claims, however. Not only do they not want to admit fault, but they also do not want to pay for their negligence. The higher the medical bills and other expenses, the more likely they are to fight back with a personal injury lawyer of their own.
In fact, during a case like this, the defendant may even turn the blame back on you and claim that you are responsible for the accident. With your personal injury lawyer, you can disprove this claim. If the evidence doesn’t disprove the claim, the court may find that neither driver is entirely to blame. Instead, they may determine you both acted in ways that contributed to the accident.
Florida’s Pure Comparative Negligence
Should the court find that two drivers are partially to blame for an accident, Florida’s comparative negligence laws will come into play. This “pure comparative fault” system does not let your level of negligence prevent you from getting the compensation your injuries need. Instead, the fault charged to the claimant is proportionate to the amount awarded in damages. For example, if you are found to be 40% at fault for the crash, you can still recover 60% of your losses from the other party. In this example, if you initially requested $100,000, if you win your case, you will receive $60,000 because you were 40% at fault.
How Fault is Determined in a Personal Injury Case
To determine the percentage of fault for each responsible party, judges examine many different factors. Drivers may contribute to fault by:
- Driving recklessly
- Driving under the influence
- Texting and driving
- Running red lights
- Failing to stop at a stop sign
- Not using turn signals
Prepare for a Case with a Personal Injury Lawyer at Berkowitz & Myer
The best way to prepare for a personal injury case is by working with a personal injury lawyer at Berkowitz & Myer. Our St. Petersburg firm has been helping clients recover compensation for their injuries for nearly twenty years. Our excellence and passion make us a strong opponent in the courtroom. To schedule a consultation in St. Petersburg, call us today at (727) 344-0123 or contact us online.