Comparative negligence in Florida personal injury law is a legal doctrine that enables accident victims to recover financial compensation even if they were partially responsible for causing the accident to occur. The percentage of a plaintiff’s own negligence would then be deducted from the total amount of damages awarded.
Modified Comparative Negligence is now Florida Law
On March 24, 2023, Florida signed HB 837 into law, ending years of pure comparative negligence standards as applied to accident victims. With the passing of modified comparative negligence, personal injury victims in this state may recover financial compensation for injuries only if they are found to be less than 50% responsible for causing the accident.
Under the previous pure standard, accident victims were eligible to receive legal compensation even if their own negligent actions were found to be a primary factor in what occurred. This was true if the Plaintiff were to be found 25% liable or 80% liable.
The new standard makes it more difficult for plaintiffs to collect money damages, and liability becomes an even more contentious piece of the legal battle that ensues.
How Modified Comparative Negligence Works
For example, suppose you were injured in an auto accident and suffered serious injuries after another driver crashed into your vehicle broadside. It might look like the other driver bears total liability. But what if video recording of the intersection showed that the accident happened because you ran a red light prior to impact. Now, the jury might find that your own negligence exceeds the 50% threshold, thereby cancelling your right to recover any compensation at all.
Under these facts, the other driver who struck your car while you were running a red light may be found to be less than 50% liable for causing the accident. Under FL’s modified standard, that driver would still have a strong legal case against your insurer.
Remember, absent clear liability in your favor, your total award of damages will be reduced by the percentage of your own fault.
Liability Issues are Best Met with Experienced Legal Counsel
If you have been injured in an accident for which you may have been partially responsible, proving that you were not more than 50 percent responsible for it is more important than ever before. With so much on the line financially for you and your family, the law firm of Kogan & DiSalvo highly recommends consultation with an experienced negligence attorney soon as you can.
Under the new modified doctrine, insurance companies are contesting liability even more aggressively than they had been under the pure comparative standard. It is important that your attorney begin investigating the circumstances of the accident, collecting police reports, and gathering evidence to support the requirement that you be not 50% (or more) responsible for your own injuries.
Though this change to Florida personal injury law does have its challenges, there is no reason to believe you don’t have a strong claim. That question is best left to your attorney to answer.
To Find Out if You are Eligible to File, Call Kogan & DiSalvo
At Kogan & DiSalvo, we know that this is not just a case—it is your life. We take pride in fighting for justice on behalf of injured victims, and we are going to do everything we can to help you get through this stressful time.
To find out how the new negligence standards might impact your case, call Florida personal injury and car accident lawyers Kogan & DiSalvo today for a zero-cost, 100% confidential consultation. Remember, we take cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you will never see a bill from us unless you win compensation on your behalf. We look forward to hearing from you.