Various Orlando media outlets have reported that the trailer of a semi truck carrying sand flipped over during a crash and crushed a Subaru being driven by a 36-year old Clermont woman. As an Orlando accident attorney, I thought that this accident might be a good one to use to discuss how comparative fault (also called comparative negligence) is handled in Florida car accident cases. According to the Orlando Sentinel, a young man driving a Honda Civic approached the intersection of State Road 455 and Buckhill Road from the south. At the same time, a tractor-trailer carrying sand was approaching the intersection from the east. Media reports indicate that, while in the process of veering left to try to avoid the Honda, the tractor-trailer actually impacted the Honda, causing the trailer of the semi truck to turn over right on top of a Suburu that was heading west on SR 455. The drivers of both the Subaru and the Honda were seriously injured and airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center. video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player It is easy to anticipate that the driver of the semi truck might try to blame the driver of the Honda for pulling past the stop bar, or for otherwise negligently entering the intersection. At the same time, both the driver of the Honda, and the driver of the Subaru will likely try to blame the truck driver for failing to keep his vehicle under control so as to avoid both collisions. In Florida, accident victims cannot collect damages that arise out of their own negligence. They can only collect the percentage of their damage attributable to someone else’s negligence. In this case, if the truck driver is found to be 50% at fault, the Honda driver suffered $100,000 in damages, the Honda driver would only be able to collect $50,000. If the truck driver were found 25% responsible, then the Honda driver would only collect $25,000. There are obviously other factors in play in any accident, but this is roughly how it works. It should be obvious that an extremely thorough investigation should be completed in cases where damages have been suffered but where liability might be disputed. If you have any questions involving a Florida car accident, and particularly one involving disputed liability, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901, or order a FREE copy of Kim ‘s book, Asleep At The Wheel: 13 Mistakes The Insurance Company Desperately Hopes You’ll Make After Your Florida Car Accident by clicking...Read More »
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