Opinion

Who to blame when a car accident occurs

Florida law recognizes a concept called “comparative negligence.” Comparative negligence is how insurance companies and juries apportion (or distribute) fault. So if you are entitled to $10,000 for injuries sustained in a car accident, but you are found to be 50 percent comparatively negligent (i.e. that the accident was 50 percent your fault), you would be entitled to only $5,000.

Insurance companies make it their mission to try to find any reason to assign you blame in an accident. This is just one of many reasons why you need a personal-injury attorney to help you fight this fight.

I have seen situations where police officers, who I have the utmost respect for, make mistakes in when they issue a ticket or document an accident. Just because the police officer gives you a ticket or citation, this does not mean he or she properly investigated the facts (i.e. listened to your side of the story, elicited the germane facts from witnesses, etc.). Remember, the police officer tends to arrive at the scene of an accident AFTER the accident occurs! So they are not always in the best position to figure out who is really at fault.

Let’s say you run through an intersection as a light turns from yellow to red, and you hit another car. If you can show that the other car was speeding, failed to properly watch out for oncoming traffic, etc…, you could argue that some percentage should be properly assigned to the other driver for his or her failure to drive safely even if the accident is deemed mostly your fault.

Obviously, every situation is different. But when an accident is mostly your fault, a recovery may still be possible (i.e. 20 percent of something is better than nothing). These are the more challenging cases, but certainly worth investigating.

Jason Neufeld, Esq., a University of Miami alumnus, is an associate with Neufeld,Kleinberg & Pinkiert P.A (NKP). For more information, please visit http://www.nkplaw.com, dial 1-800-379-TEAM (8326), or email Jason directly atjneufeld@nkplaw.com

August 24, 2011

About Author

Jason Neufeld Contributing columnist


ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Who to blame when a car accident occurs”

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Last year the rain fell in torrents. Wednesday was all scorching sunshine. Fifteen former Miami Hurr ...

See phtos from the University of Miami's annual Pro Day, where outgoing UM players perform for ...

Quarterback Brad Kaaya ambled out of the Schwartz Center for Athletic Excellence close to 3 p.m. Wed ...

A woman has accused NFL Hall of Famer and former University of Miami star wide receiver Michael Irvi ...

Today is special for 15 former Hurricanes football players from the University of Miami. It’s Pro Da ...

More than 250 participants met at the UM Fieldhouse at the Watsco Center to learn more from industry ...

Redshirt freshman diver David Dinsmore won the NCAA national championship in the men’s 10-meter plat ...

UM junior Gina Panarese was surprised on campus Thursday by the Ellen DeGeneres show and asked to pa ...

A conversation with Belén Garijo and Felicia Marie Knaul. ...

Nova Southeastern University’s Jacqueline A. Travisano will be UM’s Executive Vice President for Bus ...

The Atlantic Coast Conference and Brooklyn's Barclays Center teamed up for a historic first ear ...

The No. 45 Miami women's tennis team play will play a non-conference match against Florida Atla ...

University of Miami men's basketball signee Lonnie Walker IV showed off his athleticism at the ...

At The Net with Piotr Lomacki ...

The University of Miami men's basketball team will face Princeton on Dec. 2 in the Naismith Mem ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.