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Can Both Drivers Be at Fault for an Accident?


Every year, nearly 400,000 car accidents happen in Florida. Not every accident results in an injury or fatalities, but in 2022, 3,126 fatalities and 158,994 collision injuries were reported. Nearly every car accident involves an amount of negligence that can be attributed to one or both drivers.

When both drivers involved in an accident each contributed negligence that caused the collision, they can both be at fault. This is the basis of pure comparative fault, which Florida uses to determine liability and damages in car accident personal injury lawsuits.

What Happens When Both Drivers Are at Fault

Car accidents are often complex events that involve several factors. Even so, as previously mentioned, a driver’s negligence nearly always plays a role.

When someone is injured in a car accident, they can file a lawsuit seeking damages for their injuries. Each litigant’s contribution toward causing the accident is accessed, and they are assigned a percentage of fault for causing the accident.

For example, the court may find that a defendant was 70% responsible for causing the accident because the defendant was excessively speeding, but it may find the plaintiff 30% responsible for the accident because they were distracted by their cell phone. These are not real figures and you shouldn’t base your unique situation on them. Rather, the illustration above is intended to help you understand the basics of how you, as a plaintiff, can share fault for an accident.

If the court finds that this plaintiff is not at more fault than the defendant for causing the accident, then they are awarded damages. That said, the amount in damages won is proportionally reduced by their share of fault for the accident.

Isn’t Florida a No-Fault Car Accident State?

Florida is a no-fault car accident state, but only for relatively minor car accident injuries involving other drivers.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage only covers a max of $10,000 in damages, and it doesn’t cover motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. When an accident results in severe injuries or the aforementioned types of people who share the road with motorists, injured parties can pursue damages outside of the no-fault system.

Contact Paulsen Law Group for Help

If you were involved in a car accident, Paulsen Law Group can help. Our clients can benefit from our personalized approach to their cases, which takes their unique needs and legal situations into account. If you need to fight for compensation but have concerns about how your share of fault may affect the damages you can recover, we can help.

Learn more during an initial consultation. Contact Paulsen Law Group online for more information.

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