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What is Florida’s Comparative Fault Rule?

What is Florida’s Comparative Fault Rule?

When discussing liability for a personal injury claim in the state of Florida, it can be a tricky subject. This is especially true when an accident case has more than two parties involved whose negligent actions caused another party harm. In Florida, a pure comparative fault system is used to determine the liability of each party involved, including the victim. 

After being injured in an accident in Central Florida, you may be unsure if you hold any fault and how your own contributed negligence could affect your compensation claim. The best step to get your questions answered is to schedule a free consultation with a skilled personal injury attorney with Jordan Law. We can assess the circumstances of your case and explain how your compensation could be affected by Florida comparative fault laws.

What Does Comparative Fault Mean? 

Depending on which state you live in, your personal injury case is subject to one of two fault systems used in the U.S.: contributory negligence and comparative negligence. For Florida residents and most visitors, if they suffer an accident because of someone else’s carelessness, their claim is subject to pure comparative fault. This system of liability is more lenient than states using a contributory approach. For example, if you are partially to blame for your injuries caused in an accident, you can still recover compensation for your damages, minus the percentage you share in the blame. This would not be a possibility in a contributory fault system, where any fault you have would dismiss your entire claim.

How Pure Comparative Fault in Florida Can Help or Hurt Your Injury Case

Every state that uses comparative fault either uses a modified or pure version. Because Florida doesn’t use any modified variations of comparative fault, it uses a pure comparative liability approach. State Statute 768.81 requires a plaintiff who holds some fault in causing the accident that led to their injuries to receive compensation reduced by the percentage of their responsibility. There is no limit to how much negligence you could have contributed to your injuries. This means you could be 99% at fault and still pursue that remaining 1%. 

Pure comparative fault can act as a double-edged sword in personal injury cases sometimes. In cases where an insurance company is desperate to reduce the claim’s value, they may try to convince a jury the victim holds liability when they do not. On the other hand, if a defendant can successfully cast doubt on a plaintiff’s case for compensation, the award could be reduced. This is why having a skilled accident attorney representing you throughout the claims process is vital.

How Comparative Negligence Affects Several Liability Cases

In Florida, several liability law dictates that even when two or more parties share liability for the same accident, they are each separately responsible for the entirety of a plaintiff’s losses. Therefore, it doesn’t matter what percentage of fault each has in the matter. 

Florida Comparative Negligence Applies to More than Car Accidents

It’s important to remember that state comparative negligence law applies to more than just car accidents in Florida. Any accident that involves negligence has this standard. So whether you were in a bicycle accident or were injured by a hidden danger on someone’s private property, there are countless situations where this law applies. 

How the percentage of fault is assigned also remains the same. Should your case go to trial, the court will determine this apportionment. Of course, many personal injury cases don’t go to court. In this scenario, all the involved parties may be able to reach an agreement on how much either contributed to the accident that caused your injuries. 

Don’t Face the Insurance Companies Alone

When you’ve sustained injuries in an accident caused by the reckless actions of another person or company, it’s important to get sound legal advice before making any decisions. Jordan Law has represented countless personal injury victims in Central Florida and provided sound advice and representation against uncooperative insurers. 

Our team of attorneys always puts your best interests and well-being first in everything we do on your behalf. You never have to worry about the status of your case or be left with unanswered questions. We are always available to speak with you about your concerns. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation and learn more about what rights you have to compensation.

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