Because liability laws are so complicated, you might well have questions for our car accident lawyers. One of the most common scenarios people bring us is a situation in which they’ve been hurt in an accident that is mostly, but not entirely, the fault of another driver. How does the legal system handle this?
Since 1973, Florida, as in many states, has its courts operate under a system known as “comparative negligence.” This is the state’s attempt to create a more just system of liability that takes into account the complexities of real-life accidents. The Florida Comparative Fault law is codified in Florida Statute section 768.81, and it applies to all cases involving negligence, including car accidents, medical malpractice and is most often applied in slip and fall cases.
Under the doctrine of Comparative Negligence, a jury or judge will attempt to determine how at-fault each party was for the accident, expressed in percentage terms, using evidence presented by our car accident lawyers. That determination will then be used to allot compensation for damages.
What that means in real language is if you were involved in a car accident that resulted in $100,000 worth of damages, and the jury finds that the driver you’re suing was 80 percent at fault for the accident and you were 20 percent at fault, you can only collect $80,000 in damages. In some circumstances, if your negligence exceeds the negligence of the other person involved in your accident, you are severely limited from obtaining any recovery, such as in a situation when you are intoxicated, or when you may be on someone else’s property without their permission.
Because it may be difficult to prove fault and defend allegations of such comparative negligence, it is important to use an experienced personal injury lawyer. We investigate all of the actions that caused or contributed to an accident, which allows us to clearly present evidence to a jury or insurance company to allow from a proper and just result.
If you’re a Florida resident living in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Plantation, West Palm Beach, the Florida Keys or any surrounding community looking for a skilled personal injury lawyer, please contact The Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, PA today for a free, no-obligation consultation.