Florida’s Comparative Negligence Standard
Also known as cooperative fault, comparative negligence refers to a plaintiff in an injury case being partially to blame for a collision occurring. This is an important consideration, particularly if one party is not totally at fault for a harmful incident or situation. It could affect how much you can seek in lawsuits over car accidents and other kinds of incidents.
The Daytona Beach, FL attorneys of Chanfrau & Chanfrau would like to cover some of the basics of comparative negligence so you understand how this matter may affect you in your case.
How Comparative Negligence Affects Lawsuits and Damages
When comparative negligence is applied to accident cases, the amount a person is responsible for a collision will determine the maximum amount of damages that are collected. If you are determined to be 25 percent responsible for an auto accident, you will only collect 75 percent of the total legal damages you are seeking. You are partially at fault, in other words.
This can substantially reduce the amount you’d be rewarded in court, especially if actions on your part contributed a great deal to a collision or harmful situation.
An Example of Comparative Negligence in Action
Say that you were in an auto collision in Daytona Beach. The crash occurred while you were exceeding the speed limit through an intersection. The other motorist was making an unguarded left turn but failed to use his turn signal to indicate an intent to turn left.
It may be argued that you were 40 percent responsible for the collision occurring due to you were driving above the speed limit. That means the total damages you’re seeking get cut to 60 percent. Given that reduction, you may be advised to take a settlement rather than going to trial to seek damages.
How Negligence Is Determined
In Florida, negligence can be determined in a few ways. The most common method involves these three conditions:
- Establishing duty of care on the part of the person who caused an injury
- Demonstrating a failure to meet that duty of care
- Showing that this failure to meet a duty of care resulted in injury and harm
With regard to comparative negligence, it may be shown that you shared some of the blame for a crash if the conditions above also apply to you in some fashion.
Disputes Over Who Is At Fault in Injury Cases
Disputes over fault can be fraught, especially when establishing who is more at fault, and what sorts of actions result in partial share of negligence. This is why it’s so important to have a skilled attorney on your side. By working with a lawyer at our firm, we can help you understand how much of a role you might have played in a crash, how that affects damages, and what other concerns you should keep in mind.
Having this knowledge can make a major difference when it comes to taking settlements or going to trial.
Contact Chanfrau & Chanfrau
For more information about matters of comparative negligence and how it could affect your case, be sure to contact our team of attorneys. The legal team at Chanfrau & Chanfrau can be reached but phone in Daytona Beach at (866) 610-0653 and in Palm Coast at (386) 439-7760. We are here to help.