Personal injury claims vary in their procedures from state to state depending on the types of regulations the state has in place. Florida uses what are referred to as “comparative negligence” laws when determining the amount of damages a person stands to recover in a personal injury case.
These comparative negligence laws take effect in cases in which both parties hold some level of blame for an accident that occurs. So let’s say that you’re in a car accident on a Florida road and you wish to file a claim against the other driver, who blew through a red light. If that other driver is able to prove that you were speeding at the time, you would technically share part of the blame for the accident, even if the other driver’s offense was more egregious.
Under Florida’s pure comparative negligence rules, the amount of compensation that you are able to receive in this particular case will be reduced by an equal amount to what is determined to be your percentage of fault in the accident.
So, going back to the example of a car accident: let’s say that the court finds you to be 10 percent responsible for the accident, while the other driver is 90 percent responsible. If the total damages in the case add up to $20,000, 10 percent of that total ($2,000) would be removed from your take-home. Therefore, you would receive $18,000 in compensation rather than the full $20,000.
These comparative negligence rules apply whether your case actually goes to court or if you are dealing with an insurance adjuster in a settlement situation outside of court.
If you would like some additional information and guidance on these comparative negligence laws and how they could affect you injury claim, contact the experienced Bradenton personal injury attorneys at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh today.