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Defining Comparative Fault in Florida

When it comes to personal injury claims, it's easy to imagine negligence occurring black-and-white terms: one party is at fault and another party is owed money for their injury. Many times this is the case, but in instances where assigning fault is more nuanced or complex, Florida uses something called a comparative fault law to resolve an injury claim.

What Is Comparative Fault?

Comparative fault law allows Florida courts to assign fault to multiple parties in an injury claim. This is appropriate when there are numerous contributors to an accident and no single party deserves 100 percent of the blame.

After reviewing all the facts in a case, the court will then assign the involved parties a percentage of fault. Sometimes these percentages are spread across numerous defendants and sometimes a percentage is assigned to the plaintiff (the injured party) themselves. When this happens, the awarded compensation is then reduced by that percentage of fault.

How It Works

To better understand how comparative fault works, let's look at a simple example of two drivers who collided at an intersection. Driver A went through a red light, but Driver B was also going 25 miles over the speed limit when the accident occurred. Driver B has filed suit for $100,000 in damages.

After reviewing the case, the court determined that:

  • Driver A is 90 percent at fault due to ignoring a stop sign
  • Driver B is 10 percent at fault due to driving over the speed limit

Driver B wins the case, but the $100,000 will now be reduced by the 10 percent fault. They will now receive $90,000 for their medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.

If you have been hurt in an accident that you believe you share some responsibility for, you can still pursue compensation. At Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC, our dedicated team of Martin County personal injury lawyers has recovered millions of dollars in relief for our clients and knows what it takes to pursue maximum compensation for injury victims.

Call 866-675-4427 to speak with our advocates today.