Comparative Negligence Laws in Florida
An accident of any kind can have lasting, traumatic effects on your life. Whether it was a car accident, a dog bite, or a slip-and-fall, you may need compensation to help you return to your normal life.
But what if you were partly responsible for the accident?
Negligence laws vary from state to state, and you might find yourself asking a lot of questions. What is the difference between pure and modified comparative negligence? How do I determine fault in my case? If you believe you had a part in your accident, it’s important to understand Florida negligence laws before you begin.
The Elements of Negligence
The first step to understanding your case is to understand negligence. Let’s look at an example of negligence:
Imagine you are driving home, and you just got a text. It seems important, so you drive distracted for a moment to read it. Suddenly, another driver swings into your lane. Because you were distracted, your reflexes aren’t fast enough to prevent the collision. While the other driver caused the accident, you may also be held liable for not being alert enough to avoid the crash.
Negligence can take many forms in a personal injury lawsuit, but four factors decide fault:
- Duty to the plaintiff to protect
- Breach of duty
- Cause of injury
- Evidence of damages
Florida Laws Will Affect Your Case
Florida observes comparative negligence. For you, this means that your amount of negligence will decide how much compensation you are owed. For example, if you have a $10,000 settlement, but you are found to be 20 percent at fault, you may only be compensated with $8,000, rather than the full amount. The 20 percent of the blame you hold will be subtracted from your award.
The issue this might cause for you depends on the amount of fault you may be found to hold. For example, in states with modified comparative negligence, you will simply not recover your losses if you are found at more than 50 percent fault. In Florida, however, your damages will simply be totaled and your percentage of fault will be removed.
We Can Help
If you have been injured in an accident and may be held partly responsible for your injuries, you may need help navigating the confusing world of negligence laws and their effect on your claim. If you are struggling with your case, the West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Casey D. Shomo are ready to help.
Before you file your claim, make sure you’re maximizing your potential compensation. To contact us, simply call 561-659-6366 or fill out our online contact form below.