When someone is injured in the State of Florida — either through the negligence of another person or due to an accident — they can seek financial compensation to cover their medical bills and other damages by filing a personal injury lawsuit. But when it comes to these types of lawsuits, what happens if you are partially at fault? And what if the other party involved was also only partially at fault?
When these questions arise in an injury case, it first becomes necessary to understand comparative negligence laws in Florida, as they can have far-reaching effects on the outcome of your case. That’s where we can help. Below, this negligence attorney in Plant City, Florida is going to explain some of the key things you should know about comparative negligence laws in the State of Florida.
In Florida, courts follow the rule of comparative negligence when apportioning damages in personal injury lawsuits (F.S. § 768.81). This rule compares the plaintiff’s negligence to the defendant’s and assigns a percentage of fault to each party. The plaintiff’s damages are then reduced by their percentage of fault.
For example, if a plaintiff is found to be 20% at fault for an accident, and their damages total $100,000, they would only recover $80,000 from the defendant.
As any reputable negligence attorney in Plant City, Florida will tell you, pure comparative negligence and modified comparative negligence systems share a similar principle. Both reduce a defendant’s total responsibility for damages, but they apply it differently.
Pure comparative negligence states that when multiple parties are at fault for an injury, each party’s share of liability is proportionate to their degree of fault. In other words, if a person is found 90% responsible for his own injuries and another 10% responsible for those injuries, he can still recover damages from others who contributed up to 10% of his injuries.
Modified comparative negligence operates under the premise that a plaintiff cannot recover damages from a defendant unless the plaintiff was less than 50% responsible for their own injuries. If this limit is exceeded, a plaintiff will only be able to collect compensatory damages (e.g., lost wages), not punitive or consequential damages (e.g., medical bills).
To keep it simple: because Florida courts follow a pure comparative negligence system, your negligence attorney in Plant City, Florida can help you recover damages even if you are found to be 99% at fault for your own injuries. This is unlike the modified comparative negligence system in most other states, which limits an injured person’s recovery if they are found to be more than 50% at fault for their injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may be wondering what your legal options are. In these situations, it’s best to speak with a negligence attorney near you as soon as possible.
A knowledgeable negligence attorney in Plant City, Florida can help you understand how the concept of comparative negligence may impact your case, and whether you may be able to recover damages from the other party or parties involved.
Florida’s laws regarding comparative negligence may seem complex at first glance, but they are designed to ensure that all injured parties are treated fairly under the law. As a plaintiff, it is crucial to understand how comparative negligence works because you may have more legal rights than you realize.
Looking for the Top-Rated Negligence Attorney in Plant City, Florida?
Are you looking for more information about how comparative negligence may apply to your case? If so, Tonya Stewart Law PA is here to help. As the top-rated negligence attorney in Plant City, Florida, Tonya Stewart and her legal team can help answer any questions you may have. Contact us today at (863) 279-4443 to schedule a free consultation.