Comparative fault, also called comparative negligence, is a legal principle that assigns blame between multiple parties based on shared fault in an incident. If multiple parties were at fault, then those parties likely will be held responsible.
If you believe comparative fault may apply to an incident you experienced, you can reach out to an attorney who can help you determine if it applies to your case.
What do I Need to Know About Comparative Fault?
Many legal cases are simple because it’s apparent that one party is entirely at fault for an incident while the other party isn’t at fault. Other legal cases aren’t so simple because both parties are at fault. In cases like these, comparative fault may apply. Even if one party is an injured victim, that party may be partially liable if their negligence contributed to the incident.
When comparative fault applies to a case, it affects who receives damages and what amounts of damages they receive. For example, if a plaintiff is suing for $100,000 but is found 30% at fault for an incident, they will recover 70% of the damages, or $70,000.
What Vind of Comparative Fault Applies in My State?
Different U.S. states recognize different kinds of comparative fault. Most states recognize modified comparative fault, but there are two slightly different kinds. One kind does not allow a party to collect damages if they are found equally or more at fault than the other party. The second kind of modified comparative fault doesn’t allow a party to collect damages if they are mostly at fault.
Several other states recognize contributory fault, which doesn’t allow a party to collect damages if they are found slightly at fault for an incident. Other states, including Florida, recognize pure comparative fault, which allows a party to collect some damages even if they are found almost entirely at fault.
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Could Comparative Fault Apply to My Incident?
Comparative fault may apply to your incident if you believe you and another party are responsible for the incident. If you live in Florida and believe you’re almost entirely responsible for the incident, pure comparative fault can apply, and you may be able to collect damages.
For example, if you collided with another vehicle while driving through a red light while the other driver was making an illegal turn, you may be able to collect damages. If your incident was different and the other driver was mostly at fault, you should be able to collect more.
The amount of damages you can collect relates to your degree of fault and negligence in your incident. For instance, if you’re 40 percent at fault, your payout may be 40 percent less than it would be if you weren’t at fault at all.
How do I Establish the Other Party’s Negligence in My Incident?
To establish the other party’s negligence, you may want to work with an attorney on your case. Your lawyer may have to gather evidence and prove the following points to establish negligence:
- Duty of care: Your lawyer must prove the other party owed you the responsibility of acting safely or providing a safe environment.
- Breach of duty: The lawyer must also prove the other party failed to meet the aforementioned duty.
- Negligent cause of injury: This proves the other party’s negligence contributed to the incident.
- Financial damages ensued: This proves you suffered financial losses because of the injury that you should be compensated for. A loss would be expenses for the medical care you needed because of the incident.
What Should I Know About Filing a Lawsuit for Negligence in Florida?
In Florida, you have four years from the date of your incident to file a lawsuit for negligence under Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a). If the four years expire without any action on your part, you may not be eligible for recovering damages.
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What Could I Get for Tecoverable Damages?
Depending on your incident, you may qualify for recovering damages like:
- Lost income and future loss of income/earning potential
- Medical expenses, including medical expenses you still have
- Continual care expenses
- Quality-of-life damages
Do Your Offices Cover Comparative Fault Cases?
We cover comparative fault cases here at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, and since we serve Florida, we cover pure comparative fault cases. Our personal injury lawyers can help even if you believe you’re almost entirely at fault for your incident, and we can even help you get your car fixed if you were in a car accident. We have helped many of our clients, and we’re confident we can help you, too.
Contact our offices today at 1-800-747-3733 to learn more about what we can do to help you with your comparative fault incident. If you’d like to consult with one of our team members, your case review will be completely free.
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