Understanding Comparative Negligence and How It May Affect Your Florida Personal Injury Case

Whether you get hurt in a car accident, a truck accident, a slip and fall, or any other incident, an analysis will need to be done to determine comparative fault. Why? Because Florida allows juries to apportion fault to multiple parties, including the injured party. This determination could alter the amount of money you receive from a personal injury verdict.

Image Source (CC BY 2.0) by er24ems via flickr
Image Source (CC BY 2.0) by er24ems [no longer active on platform] via flickr

Comparative Negligence: The Basics

Comparative negligence, as the name implies, allows a comparison of fault between the parties involved in a lawsuit. For example, let’s say Adam gets hurt in a car accident by Brenda when Adam failed to yield the right of way and tried to turn left at a yellow light. Brenda was speeding and texting on her phone, which resulted in her vehicle t-boning Adam’s vehicle. In this scenario, both parties were partly negligent. In Florida, under the theory of comparative negligence, a jury or mediator would be allowed to compare the negligence of Adam and Brenda and apportion fault appropriately.

How This Comparative Negligence Analysis Affects Your Case

Using the example above, if a jury or mediator determines that Adam was 40 percent negligent and Brenda was 60 percent negligent, that may result in a 40 percent reduction in Adam’s personal injury verdict. So, if Adam gets awarded $100,000 for his personal injuries, it would be reduced by $40,000 and he would recover $60,000. As you can see, a comparative negligence analysis can dramatically change how much you receive from a settlement or judgment.

How a Comparative Negligence Percentage is Proven

In most Florida personal injury cases, one party will blame the other and the result will largely depend on how well your Florida personal injury lawyer articulates your case to the jury or mediator. Your lawyer should be able to retain an accident reconstruction specialist who is capable of investigating the accident scene, witness statements, police reports, and other facts that may establish fault on the other party. The other party’s insurance company probably has a team of lawyers working to try and allocate a higher percentage of fault to you, so you need to be ready and have a team working for you.

Retain an Experienced Florida Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one was seriously harmed in an accident, do not try and take on the other driver’s insurance company on your own. You have enough on your plate. Focus on healing and let a Florida personal injury lawyer with Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti, P.A. help put your case together. It costs nothing to speak to one of our seasoned Florida trial attorneys during an initial consultation. That is right – it is absolutely free to speak to a lawyer about your personal injury case. Additionally, our firm operates on a contingency fee basis for personal injury claims. This means that you do not have to a lawyer with our firm any upfront fees. Instead, we get paid when we get you a financial recovery. Contact us today at (305) 653-5555 or fill out our online contact form to get your free, no obligation consultation today!