Call Today For Your Free Consultation
No Fee Unless We Win (941) 954-4000

How Comparative Negligence Affects Liability in Florida Car Accidents

March 20, 2023 Legal Team

What is Comparative Negligence?

Comparative negligence is a system of sharing fault for an accident. When drivers are involved in a car accident, they may be assigned any percentage of total fault for that accident or a driver may be assigned no fault at all. For example, two parties equally at-fault for an accident are each 50% liable for the damages. 

Florida is a Pure Comparative Negligence State

Florida is a pure comparative negligence state. This means that any damages awarded to an accident victim are reduced by their percentage of fault. Therefore, a victim found 50% at-fault for an accident will have their monetary damages reduced by 50% (a $100,000 total award would be reduced to $50,000). 

Florida’s system of pure comparative negligence is unlike many other states in that injured parties can recover compensation regardless of their percentage of fault up to 99%. This makes establishing fault extremely important to a car accident victim’s recovery.

Establishing Fault in a Florida Car Accident

Establishing fault in a Florida car accident can be taxing for an accident victim and their attorney. Florida’s courts do not require defendants to admit liability for an accident even if they received a traffic citation. Instead, Florida leaves the jury to decide any facts for themselves based on evidence and eyewitness testimony.

Proving Negligence in a Florida Car Accident 

Without an admission of liability or evidence of a traffic citation, the accident victim’s attorney will need to prove the defendant’s negligence caused their client’s injuries. 

Proving negligence requires the following:

  • Establishing the defendant owed the victim a duty of care; 
  • The defendant breached that duty of care; 
  • That breach was the cause of the victim’s injury; and
  • That breach resulted in verifiable financial damages.

Without verifiable damages, there is no claim. Therefore victims should seek immediate medical care following a car accident and keep any records regarding follow-up treatment. 

How an Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney Can Help

An experienced car accident attorney will use any medical bills and reports, receipts, and accident scene evidence available to build their client’s claim for damages. This evidence also serves to establish a lack of liability on their client’s behalf.

In addition, a car accident attorney will:

  • Handle all insurance company correspondence;
  • Hire needed medical and accident experts;
  • Negotiate a fair and appropriate settlement with any insurance companies; or
  • Move forward towards trial when necessary.

Car accident attorneys typically meet prospective clients at no cost to review their claims and advise them of their legal options. 

Contact an Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney Today

If you would like to understand your options, contact Shapiro | Delgado | Hofmann in. We will gladly provide you with a risk-free claim consultation and walk you through Florida’s comparative negligence laws. Our experienced car accident attorneys are located in Sarasota and Bradenton.

Florida limits the time you have to file a car accident claim. Learn more about this timeframe and start your claim today. Complete our online form or call us at (941) 954-4000.