How Comparative Negligence Affects a Florida Personal Injury Case

In Florida personal injury cases, the courts follow the statute of “comparative negligence” to determine where financial liability lies, and to set the amount of damages awarded to the plaintiff.

When establishing who was to blame for a car accident, causal negligence—carelessness and recklessness of drivers—is considered. It is often the case where the injured party’s own negligence contributed in some degree to the accident.

Comparative negligence provides some compensation to a plaintiff even though he or she also was negligent and contributed to the injury. Conversely, a driver at fault in an accident may have his or her liability reduced proportionately if the injured person was also negligent.

For example, you may have been sideswiped by someone who was merging into traffic going 15 mph over the speed limit – yet if you had not been texting while driving, the wreck could have been avoided.

This does not mean you cannot recover damages. You may still receive benefits for the percentage of the accident for which you were not at fault.

Florida Operates Under the Rule of Pure Comparative Negligence

The court assigns a percentage of blame for each party that is involved in the accident and then award damages based on that percentage. This means that a plaintiff is allowed to recover even if he or she is 99 percent at fault—the award would just be reduced proportionately.

Example: in a car accident between you and Joe, the court decides that you are 99% to blame for causing your own injuries. The court also finds that you have sustained $20,000 in damages. Joe is only 1 percent at fault. Your award would be reduced by your 99% fault in causing the injury. So in this case, you would be able to recover 1 percent of the total damages award from Joe ($200 in this example.)

It may not make financial sense to sue if you were 99 percent at fault, but you have the legal right to do so nonetheless.

How Florida’s comparative negligence law may affect your potential injury settlement.

Insurance adjusters and personal injury lawyers will both use the doctrine of comparative negligence to determine personal injury settlement amounts.

This is important, because your compensation is directly related to the amount of liability you hold. A good attorney is prepared for the insurance adjuster’s tactics to try to distort the facts of a case to show that the injured party was to blame for the accident.

The point here is that no matter how seriously you or a loved one is injured, your ability to recover any compensation hinges on whether you can establish negligence. It is vital to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible to gather pivotal evidence, get witness statements and more to protect your rights.

The car accident attorneys at Kramer Law excel at building a solid case upon which we can rebut insurance companies’ claims against our client. We apply accident reconstruction, expert investigation techniques and years of experience to establish the at-fault party’s negligence through evidentiary proof.

Our attorneys will push for the greatest amount of monetary compensation possible through negotiations or in court, given the facts of your case.

A full service law firm, Kramer Law is here to protect you, your family, your home, and your business with any legal issue, one firm for life.

Speak with an experienced Florida attorney at our firm today.
Call 855-Kramer-Now (855-572-6376)

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