What is Florida’s Comparative Negligence Rule?
In some injury-causing accidents, one party is clearly to blame, and the other party did nothing wrong. The at-fault party would then be liable for all of the losses of the injured victim. However, not every case is this black and white.
In some injury cases, two or more parties might have acted negligently and contributed to the accident. If you suffered injuries and know you were partially to blame, you might assume that you do not have legal options. This is not necessarily the case under Florida’s comparative negligence law.
Each state has its own comparative negligence provisions, and Florida uses a “pure comparative fault” system. This can be one of many complex legal issues that arise in an injury case and failing to properly address this issue can result in a significantly reduced settlement – or even no settlement at all. Always seek help from an experienced Brandon personal injury lawyer who can address these matters for you.
How Does Pure Comparative Fault Work?
Florida law recognizes that someone might be partially responsible for their own accident and injuries, but this does not bar them from recovering for their losses. Instead, it reduces their recovery by their percentage of fault.
The first step is to apportion fault between the various parties. This can be done by the insurance company during the claim process or by a jury should a case go to trial regarding liability. Imagine the following:
- Another driver runs a red light
- If you were paying attention, you would have been able to stop in time to avoid a collision
- Instead, you were texting while driving and did not notice the car in the intersection, resulting in a crash
The driver who ran the red light might be mostly at fault for the accident due to their serious violation. However, you are also partially to blame since you were texting while driving. You might be found to be 20 percent responsible while the other driver is 80 percent responsible. This means that your recovery would be reduced by 20 percent.
In Florida, you can still recover something even if you were mostly at fault. If you were deemed 80 percent responsible, you could still technically recover 20 percent of your losses. This is why it is important to have a Brandon personal injury lawyer evaluate your rights. You might assume that you cannot recover, but depending on the circumstances, you might be able to recover at least a portion of your losses.
Seek Help from Our Brandon Personal Injury Attorneys
Personal injury cases can be more complex than many people think due to issues like comparative negligence. You need a legal team that knows how to identify liability, as well as calculate your full damages, so you recover the proper amount of damages. At Carman, Bevington & Finegan, we handle many types of injury cases, including those with liability questions. Please call 813-654-3444 or contact us online for your free case evaluation and consultation today.