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Determining Negligence and Liability in a Florida Car Accident


If you’ve been involved in an auto accident in Florida, you may be wondering how you can get compensation from the at-fault party. However, just because you know the other party is at fault, it doesn’t mean you are automatically entitled to recover damages. You still have to prove the other driver was at fault.

To recover damages in a serious injury accident, you need to show the other party was negligent. This means they acted in such a manner that it showed disregard for your safety and their duty to drive in a safe manner. Breaching that duty was the cause of the accident and your injuries.

Basics of a Negligence Claim

Lawsuits stemming from car accidents are typically based on negligence, as it’s not like someone heads out in their car with the intention of causing an accident. Pursuing a negligence claim requires a complete assessment of the situation and what actions led up to the accident. You must establish that the at-fault party breached their duty of safety before the accident happened.

There are some basic elements of a negligence claim. These elements are:

  • Duty of Care: The duty of care applies in all negligence claims, not just car accidents. It is a legal obligation to behave with a reasonable standard of care and keep from acting in a way that would bring harm to others.
  • Breach of Duty: This is the breach of the duty of care. If someone driving a vehicle acts in a manner that causes harm to another person, that person has breached their duty owed to others. When looking at whether someone is negligent, the “reasonable person” standard is applied. What would a reasonable person due in the same situation? Would they do the same thing or would they have acted in a different manner and been more careful? If the breach involved violating traffic regulations, it can help to prove negligence.
  • Causation: You have to prove breach of duty, but you also have to prove that the breach in question is what caused the damage and/or injuries. There are two types of causation. The first is cause-in-fact, which is the direct cause. The second is proximate cause, which means the breach indirectly led to the injuries.
  • Damages: If all the elements of negligence are proven, there still has to be damages. If there is no financial loss, there is nothing to recover. Losses can include medical expenses, loss of earnings, vehicle repairs etc. You can also recover for damages like pain and suffering and emotional trauma.

Failure to maintain control of your vehicle or failure to obey local traffic laws are two examples of negligence that could lead to a successful result in a liability claim. There are also other situations where multiple people may be at fault and share liability.

Contact a Florida Personal Injury Attorney

If you were injured in an auto accident due to someone else’s negligence, you need to speak with a knowledgeable Orlando auto accident attorney as soon as possible. Contact the Payer Law today to schedule an initial consultation.


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