Can I Still Bring a Claim For Injuries Resulting From a Car Accident If I Was Cited for Causing the Accident?
Being issued a citation for causing a car accident does not bar an individual from bringing a personal injury claim in order to receive compensation for injuries that they have suffered. First, a citation may not be used as evidence to determine fault. The police officer’s initial determination is not always accurate in placing blame, and additional evidence may indicate otherwise. The Jacksonville car accident lawyers at The Lawrence Law Group help injured victims gather information following a collision, and we are often able to prove that our client was not at fault for the causing a car accident even though the client was cited for being at fault. As a result, our client is then entitled to make a recovery for his or her personal injuries resulting from the accident.Bringing a Claim for Injuries Resulting from a Car Accident After Being Cited
Florida is a no-fault state, meaning that regardless of who is determined to be responsible for causing a car accident, each injured’s person’s own personal injury protection insurance coverage will pay for 80% of medical expenses and 60% of lost wages up to a combined limit of $10,000.00. However, policy limits are not always enough to cover serious injuries. Under Florida law, a victim who has sustained a serious injury, defined as a permanent injury, disfigurement, or significant or permanent scarring, may pursue a personal injury claim seeking recovery for “non-economic losses” against an at-fault individual or entity. Non-economic losses include the loss of quality of life, pain and suffering, and mental anguish.
A police citation issued at the scene of the accident stating that one individual caused the collision is not determinative of fault. Police officers only make an initial observation of the scene and collect accounts from the witnesses who are available. Eyewitnesses are notoriously bad at accurately recalling how an accident happened. Another party may have been reluctant to tell an officer the truth in an effort to avoid blame, or evidence obtained later, such as accident reconstruction evidence, can reveal a different version of what actually happened.
Even if you were a contributing cause of a collision, that does not prevent you from receiving damages for your injuries from another party who was also liable. Florida follows a pure comparative fault scheme of awarding damages. Under this rule, injured individuals are awarded compensation in proportion to each party’s degree of fault. Even if the injured person was found substantially accountable for causing the accident, they can still be awarded damages for the remaining percentage of fault. For example, if you were found 50 percent at fault for causing the accident, you are still entitled to recover half of the value of your harms and losses from the other 50 percent liable party.
Different rules apply for drivers cited while operating a vehicle with a commercial driver’s license (CDL). A CDL driver must inform their employer of any citation, as well as notify the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles if the citation was issued out of state. In these situations, a driver can still potentially recover compensation for their injuries through the workers’ compensation system. It is important to consult a knowledgeable car accident attorney following a crash for which you were cited to ensure that your legal rights are preserved.Discuss Your Situation with a Jacksonville Attorney
Serious injuries that result from car accidents often require costly medical care, time spent away from work, and sometimes long-term physical therapy or other treatment. Just because a preliminary observation by a police officer has assigned blame does not mean that an injured victim does not have legal recourse available. The Jacksonville attorneys at The Lawrence Law Group offer dedicated and experienced representation for victims injured in many types of car accidents. Our firm can help gather, interpret, and present evidence to ensure that you vigorously assert your right to the compensation that you are entitled to receive to deal with the extent of your injuries. We represent accident victims who need a motor vehicle collision lawyer throughout Duval, Clay, Nassau, Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns, Baker, Brevard, Union, Columbia, Suwannee, Hamilton, Jefferson, Volusia, and Alachua Counties. If you were cited for an accident and want to know more about your legal rights and options, contact us online or call us at (904) 632-0077 to set up a free consultation to learn more about our services.