Author: Gary Drucker

If Florida is a “no fault” state as it pertains to car accident, does it matter who is at fault for an accident?

Fault definitely matters!

In terms of who pays your medical bills, Florida is a no fault state and your own insurance pays your medical bills, regardless of whether you are at fault or not. That is the no fault laws in Florida.

Now, in terms of who pays to fix the car, we are on a fault system. So if another person causes the accident, their property damage insurance coverage (which happens to also be required) will pay to fix your car if they are at fault.

Lastly, in terms of who pays you for your injuries (unpaid medical bills AFTER PIP, pain and suffering, etc.) we are also on a fault system. Thus, if the other car is at fault their bodily injury coverage (which is generally not required) will pay you for your injuries.

What adds value to my car accident case in Florida? – Part 1

Clients and others call the office at times and ask, “How do I increase the value of my case?”  There are a lot of answers to this question, so I am going to tackle it in several posts.

There are a lot of things that you have complete control over that can help your case.  First, listening to your doctor and completing the recommended treatment is an important way to add value to your case.  Said another way, when some people refuse to go to the doctor or simply suffer instead of going to the doctors decrease the value of their case.  The insurance company, all things equal, will notice if a client goes to a first visit with the doctor and then does not show up for a month.  The suggestion there is that the client must really not be hurt if there is that much of a gap in treatment.  There very well may be good reason why the client did not go during that month, and certainly that could be explained to the jury in court, but this opens the door to a defense argument that the person must not be hurt if they didn’t do any treatment for a month.

Second, making sure that all of your complaints are documented will add value to your case.  If for whatever reason (either you forget to tell the doctor or if the doctor mistakenly omits something) there are injuries that are not reported in an initial visit that opens the door for the defense to argue that that injury was not caused in the subject accident.  For example, you go to the doctor complaining of neck and back complaints.  A month later there is a new complaint of knee injury that ultimately results in knee surgery.  The problem there is that, since that knee complaint was not referenced initially, i would expect the insurance company and later their defense lawyer to argue that the knee injury was not caused in the accident as it was not diagnosed initially and thus must not be related.

En Florida, si un coche pasa una luz roja, no llevan ese coche todo (100 por ciento) de la culpa de un accidente?

En primer lugar, es importante entender que en Florida las leyes de negligencia incluyen culpa comparativa. Bajo las leyes de falla comparativos, un jurado puede repartir la culpa entre todas las partes (e incluso los que no son partes) a la demanda.

Si hay pruebas de que un coche pasó una luz roja, que sin duda habría sugieren que ese coche tiene la culpa y que probablemente lleva la mayor parte de la culpa. Sin embargo, esa persona puede argumentar que el otro vehículo (que tenía la luz verde) culpa tiene cierta culpa. El argumento sería que el coche podría haber evitado el accidente, había que tenido alguna medida de precaución. Dependiendo de cómo ocurrió el accidente nos daría una idea de si esto sería una defensa fuerte o débil.

Por ejemplo, si el coche que corrió la luz roja fue alcanzado por el otro coche hacia a la parte trasera del coche, entonces el argumento sería que el coche que corrió la luz roja casi hecho y por lo tanto el otro coche tenido tiempo de virar fuera del camino y evitar el accidente. Por supuesto, sería hasta un jurado para determinar la falla entre las partes y que podía hacer lo que mejor les pareciera, basado en la evidencia. Por otro lado, si el coche que corrió la luz roja golpeó el lado del otro coche, entonces este mismo argumento sería mucho, mucho más débil.