Justice Demands Diligence

How can Florida’s negligence rule benefit car accident victims?

On Behalf of | Jan 10, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Collisions

Car accidents can be detrimental to victims. Depending on their severity, they can result in injuries, medical expenses and even emotional distress. In the state of Florida, the negligence rule applies after such accidents. This rule helps determine the rights and compensation available to those seeking relief after a crash.

Understanding how this rule works and the potential benefits it offers is essential when pursuing compensation.

Recovery of damages

Florida is a no-fault state, which means that the first step after a car accident is typically filing a claim with your own insurance company. However, in cases where the accident is severe, victims may step outside of the no-fault system and seek damages from the party at fault. This is where Florida’s negligence rule comes into play. The rule allows victims to recover both economic and non-economic damages. Economic, or monetary, damages are tangible losses, such as current and future medical costs, the loss of earnings and property damage. On the other hand, non-economic damages refer to intangible losses, such as psychological pain, emotional distress and the loss of life enjoyment.

Compensation under the rule

Florida follows a “pure comparative negligence” rule. Unlike in some states, even if it finds you partially at fault, that won’t completely prevent you from receiving compensation. Instead, your percentage of fault will simply reduce the amount of damages you can claim. For example, if you are 20% at fault for a car accident, your total compensation will be adjusted accordingly. In this scenario, if your total damages amount to $80,000, you can still recover 80%, or $64,000, from the other party. This rule can significantly benefit car accident victims by allowing them to get a portion of their damages even if they were partly liable for the accident.

Guidance through the process

In the event of an accident, it’s possible that insurance companies could inflate your percentage of fault to reduce damage awards. This can create a distressing situation. To try to avoid this and receive appropriate guidance when working through the legal difficulties of a personal injury claim, consider seeking the assistance of an attorney.