How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help if You’re Being Blamed for an Accident in Clearwater, FL

Being in an accident is a traumatic event. However, the insurance company and the other parties involved can increase your stress by trying to blame you for causing the accident. Unfortunately, shifting the blame to an innocent victim is a common tactic used by insurance companies to avoid paying claims.

A Clearwater personal injury attorney can help you fight allegations of blame after an accident in Clearwater. Understanding comparative negligence in Florida and how a personal injury attorney can help if you’re blamed is essential.  

Comparative Negligence in a Personal Injury Claim 

Comparative negligence allows the court to reduce damages based on a victim’s level of fault for causing an accident. Therefore, the victim can receive compensation for economic and non-economic damages, but the amount they receive is based on their percentage of fault. For instance, if a driver is 55% at fault for causing a car wreck, they can recover 45% of the damages from the other driver.

Florida is a modified comparative negligence state. If you are partially to blame for causing your injury, your compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault. However, if you are more than 50% to blame, you are barred from recovering compensation damages. Therefore, if you are 51% to blame for an accident, you receive nothing for your claim. 

How the Insurance Company Tries to Blame You for an Accident in Clearwater, FL

Comparative fault applies to personal injury cases where a victim may have contributed to their own injuries occurring. Therefore, an insurance adjuster might try to blame you for causing your slip and fall accident or pedestrian accident

The insurance adjuster might tell you that your insurance claim has no value because you played a role in why you sustained injuries. The adjuster might tell you that because the police officer did not fault anyone for the car accident, you are partially to blame. Merely telling someone you are sorry for the accident could be construed as admitting fault. 

In many cases, claims adjusters try to record a victim saying something that could be misconstrued as admitting fault. For instance, you may tell the adjuster that you woke up late and were in a hurry to get to work on the day of the accident. The adjuster may accuse you of rushing and driving recklessly to get to work, so you are partially to blame for causing the accident.

The insurance company does not have the final say on matters related to causation and fault. They might try to blame victims to avoid liability for claims, but victims can sue the at-fault party for damages. The final decision would rest with a jury.

A Clearwater Personal Injury Attorney Can Protect You from Allegations of Fault 

A Clearwater accident lawyer can assess your case during a free consultation and advise whether you could be partially at fault for your accident. If so, they will explain what your legal options are for pursuing a personal injury claim.

An attorney will prepare you for potentially being blamed for causing an accident and ensure you do not say something that could hurt your case. Your legal team will handle all communications with the insurance company. This allows you to avoid speaking with an insurance adjuster or other insurance representative. 

If the insurance company tries to blame you for causing an accident, an experienced Clearwater personal injury lawyer can fight the claim using strong evidence.  

Evidence that could be used to prove fault for a personal injury accident includes the following:

  • Accident and police reports
  • Physical evidence from the accident scene
  • Whether the investigating officer assigned fault or issued traffic citations 
  • Statements made by the drivers at the scene
  • Eyewitness statements 
  • Onboard vehicle data
  • Photographs and videos of the accident scene
  • Surveillance footage of the accident as it occurred
  • Weather and road conditions

In some cases, we may retain accident reconstructionists and other experts to assist in proving liability for an accident. An accident reconstructionist uses the evidence to determine how the accident occurred. By doing so, the expert identifies the factors that contributed to the crash and who was responsible for each contributing factor.

A Clearwater Personal Injury Attorney Can Protect You from an Unfair Settlement

The insurance company may pressure you to settle a personal injury claim quickly. The adjuster might tell you that you are at fault, but if you agree to a settlement now, they can get you some money for your claim. Don’t fall for this tactic.

Before accepting a settlement offer, talk with one of our Clearwater personal injury lawyers. If you sign a settlement agreement, you waive your right to pursue a claim. Before giving up your rights, have a lawyer review the settlement offer to determine if it is fair based on your case’s facts. 

Contact Us for a Free Consultation With Our Clearwater Personal Injury Lawyers

Our legal team at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers aggressively fights allegations of comparative fault in Clearwater, FL. Call our office to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced Clearwater personal injury attorney at (727) 349-1728. Our accident attorneys help you recover the compensation you deserve after an accident.