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Should we obtain counsel to obtain money after an accident when we were found 60% liable?

Saint Augustine, FL |

My husband was in an accident and was found to be 60% liable by our insurance company. He was ticketed, but we are going to court to fight the ticket. The state trooper did nothing to investigate and we don't feel the ticket was warranted based upon the excessive speed of the other driver. The other driver has now hired counsel to go after our insurance company (he suffered a minor cut on his hand). My husband suffered more severe injuries, but we never would think to contact a lawyer until now. Do we have a case against their insurance company? Should we hire a lawyer? Thanks.

Attorney Answers 8


  1. What did your husband do wrong that caused your insurance company to blame him for 60% of the cause of the collision and the other driver only 40%? What was your insurance company's reason for assigning this level of blame? The time to get an attorney was right after the collision occurred...but you still need an attorney now. Severe injury claims are always worth discussing with a personal injury attorney even when you are partially to blame for the collision. Talk with a personal injury attorney in Florida as soon as you can. Best wishes.


  2. You should absolutely speak with a lawyer. He or she can evaluate any potential claim you may have against the other driver. Bring a copy of the police report and any medical documentation with you. As for the claim against you, report the incident to your carrier and they will handle the claim. Good luck.


  3. The insurance company's unilateral determination is not binding on anyone. If your husband is injured, he should by all means promptly consult with an experienced FL personal injury attorney.

    In seeking an attorney on this site, beware of limiting your search to attorneys with a 10 rating, and carefully read the AVVO disclaimer regarding their rating system. There are certain factors that are given great weight which do not necessarily have any bearing on an attorney's experience, abilities, and results with certain types of cases. Accordingly, the rating numbers can be misleading. Also beware of basing your choice on the fee charged, as a low fee, depending on the skill, experience and determination of the specific attorney handling your case, could actually have an inverse relationship to the amount actually put in your pocket.


  4. Free consultation with a local personal injury attorney is what you should now do.


  5. Florida is a comparative fault state, and you can recover even if the other side was 1% at fault and you were 99% at fault. MORE IMPORTANTLY, the insurance company determination of percentage of fault is worthless - the FHP determination of fault is worthless - what matters is what a jury would determine. Get to an attorney ASAP before you lose valuable rights and coverages such as PIP.

    This response is to provide general legal information and does not constitute legal advice nor should it be considered or viewed as forming any sort of attorney-client relationship and such information provided is viewable by the general public.


  6. You indicate that your husband has sustained injury. Hopefully he has sought the medical treatment he needs. If he hasn't, he should do so immediately, as you only have 14 days to seek treatment after you've been involved in a motor vehicle collision or you risk losing your PIP (personal injury protection) no fault benefits under your own insurance policy.

    The percentage of fault attributed to your husband from the insurance company is not controlling. Neither is the crash report. Unless your husband rearended another individual, in which case there is a rebuttal presumption of fault under florida law attributed to the driver who causes the crash, then it would really be up to a jury as the fact finder go determine the percentage of fault.

    Moreover, because florida is a pure comparative negligence jurisdiction, meaning that a fact finder could determine your husband to be 90% and he could still recover 10% of his damages, it would be prudent to seek the advice of counsel immediately. Doing so will ensure your rights are protected. Best of luck.


  7. The adjustor's assessment of liability binds no one and is not admissible in court. So, one would need to know the circumstances of the crash to analyze liability.

    Florida has pure comparative negligence in most cases. So, even being 60% at fault would still entitle you to 40% of your damages.

    So, your husband needs to get all necessary reasonable medical care and if he is still seriously injured, hire a lawyer.

    This is a summary based on incomplete facts. You should not rely on it as legal advise. No attorney-client relationship is intended to be formed.


  8. You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing. The Guides can be accessed through my profile page on Avvo.com.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

    Legal Disclaimer: If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

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