Can I Still Seek Damages if I Contributed to My Injuries?
If you have been wrongfully injured in Florida, you may be interested in pursuing compensation for the losses that you have suffered—including reimbursement for the cost of your medical treatment and lost earnings. In order to determine whether or not your claim will ultimately be successful, however, you will need to look at your own degree of fault. Since Florida adopted the “pure comparative negligence” doctrine in 1973, you may only be able to recover a percentage of damages if it is decided that you had also contributed to your own injuries. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you discuss your case with a West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer from The Law Offices of Casey D. Shomo, P.A. before filing a claim.
Currently, 12 other states in the U.S. follow a system of pure comparative negligence. This system for awarding damages works by assigning both the defendant and the plaintiff a percentage of fault. If, for example, you had been struck by a drunk driver while you were unlawfully crossing the street, the judge or jury assigned to your case would need to determine how much of your own carelessness had contributed to the accident. Once this is determined, the amount of damages that you would subsequently be entitled to would be diminished by your own percentage of fault—which would mean that you would be awarded $90,000 if you were 10% responsible for causing an accident that resulted in $100,000 in damages.
It is also important to understand that you would not be barred from recovering compensation even if you were mostly responsible for causing the accident, as the pure comparative negligence doctrine allows for as little as a 1% recovery. This means that you would still be able to obtain damages if it was determined that you were 99% responsible for causing your own harm. This can ultimately work against you, however, as it may leave you susceptible to a counter-lawsuit. For this reason, it is not advisable that you pursue a case in which you were more than 50% at fault. In order to more accurately determine how a judge or jury will determine responsibility, speak with a West Palm Beach personal injury attorney from The Law Offices of Casey D. Shomo, P.A.
When you contact the firm at (800) 690-7868, you can speak one-on-one with a member of our dedicated legal team. If you would prefer to contact us online, however, you can also fill out the free case evaluation form that is conveniently located on our website.Click here to get started.