Understanding Comparative Negligence in Florida Accident Claims
Every state gives citizens the legal right to sue the at-fault party for damages if they are injured in an accident. However, how fault is defined varies from state to state, and this affects the awarding of compensation.
Florida applies the policy of comparative negligence in personal injury suits. In accident cases where more than one party made decisions or performed actions that could be considered negligent or reckless, the court determines the proportion of fault for each party, based on the evidence, and sets the damages award accordingly.
A classic example is a pedestrian hit by a speeding car while jaywalking. Although the driver is at fault for driving at a dangerous speed, the injured pedestrian is also at fault for crossing the road illegally. The insurance company representing the negligent driver may argue that the pedestrian had the greater percentage of negligence, and therefore their client should only pay a smaller portion of the ensuing accident-related costs. This is why Florida accident victims need the representation of a personal injury attorney who can build a strong case and protect their legal rights.
Comparative negligence is used to calculate compensation awards in the following types of personal injury cases:
- Automobile accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Auto-truck collisions
- Pedestrian injuries
- Slip-and-fall accidents
In theory, the comparative negligence system is a realistic and fair approach that recognizes the messy, complicated nature of an accident. In reality, when large insurance companies use their considerable resources to deny or minimize the responsibility of their clients, the system often works against the wrongly injured person. At Largey Law, justice is our business. Whether we negotiate a fair settlement offer or litigate an award at trial, we use all our skills and experience to make sure our clients receive the compensation they deserve.