There are plenty of car accidents that involve situations which are fairly complex from a legal standpoint. Not every crash consists of one driver hitting one other vehicle. If multiple cars are involved and fault is not clear or easy to determine, it can be beneficial to retain a lawyer and learn about how Florida’s comparative negligence laws help most accident victims if they need to file a case to receive compensation.
A multiple car accident in West Palm Beach closed local roads, damaged at least seven vehicles, and sent three people to the hospital.
7 cars involved and 3 people hurt in Palm Beach County accident
The incident occurred on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard near Magnolia Circle on a Monday morning. West Palm Beach Fire Rescue arrived on the scene shortly afterward. All of the eastbound traffic lanes in the area had to be closed for several hours during the investigation and cleanup, but they were reopened later.
Photos from the scene showed multiple police cars and firetrucks lined up on the median. The damaged vehicles appeared to have been moved to the other side of the road. A government vehicle that was used as a Palm Tran Connection Bus was involved, but officials from the fire department said that all of the bus passengers were able to be removed and taken to their destinations safely and without further incident.
The three people who were hurt were all transported to local hospitals, but there was no information regarding the extent of their injuries or their identities. An exact cause of the situation was not mentioned by the news report. The collision remains under investigation by the local police and fire departments.
How can a lawsuit proceed when a large number of vehicles are involved?
In situations like this, there may be multiple drivers who are partially at fault. Some states have laws on the books which say that a driver who is partially or mostly at fault for an accident is barred from collecting any damages. This unforgiving doctrine, called contributory negligence, has been eliminated or modified in many states including Florida.
Florida law does allow drivers who are partly responsible for causing an accident to file a lawsuit. Personal injury lawyers in the state routinely handle cases where fault and damages are divided between several individuals or businesses, and there may be multiple insurance claims as well. The facts related to these situations can become complex, so it is best to only trust an experienced local attorney to take your case.
What is comparative negligence?
A general negligence case says that anyone who is harmed by the actions or mistakes of another person can file a civil lawsuit and make them pay for their losses. These cases are normally filed after car crashes and other types of accidents.
Comparative negligence laws essentially allow any party involved to file a lawsuit and collect money, but their award will be reduced by their level of fault in the accident. All of the vehicles involved will be assigned a specific level of fault to reach one hundred percent.
The workings of this law are not too important for someone who has been injured and needs to speak with a lawyer, but Florida drivers should be aware that they are not necessarily out of luck even if they are responsible for a car accident in some way.
What else should be done to increase the chances of a successful lawsuit?
There are a number of standard procedures that drivers should follow after any accident. This includes contacting the police to report the collision, and getting an official copy of the accident report that is written based on their investigation. A driver’s insurance provider should also be contacted and given the report as soon as possible. It can be beneficial to take pictures at the scene and preserve any other relevant evidence. If anyone requires medical treatment or the vehicle needs repairs, all of this documentation should be kept as proof of damages.
Paying for legal services in complex cases
Injury lawyers who handle civil cases do not ask for payment up front. These attorneys work on a contingent fee, which means that they only get paid after they win money for a client through a settlement agreement or after a trial. This business model allows all accident victims to obtain legal representation without having to worry about the expense of legal fees up front.
Thinking about filing a lawsuit against a driver?
If you need help after any kind of accident in the West Palm Beach area, contact an attorney who focuses on these kinds of lawsuits. Smith and Vanture provide superior representation to local clients in Palm Beach County and nearby parts of Florida.