Leesburg, Florida trial lawyer explains the concept of comparative fault.
You were injured in a car accident or slip and fall and you speak to the other person's insurance adjuster. The adjuster tells you that they believe you are at fault or partially at for the crash or fall and you may have a lot of questions like:
- What does this mean?
- Will the insurance company still pay for my injuries?
- Can I receive any compensation for what I've been through?
The answer to these questions is it depends. The issue is Florida's comparative fault law. Florida is a pure comparative fault (negligence) jurisdiction and the Florida Supreme Court discussed the concept in Hoffman v. Jones . The Hoffman Court said this about the purpose of comparative fault:
(1) To allow a jury to apportion fault as it sees fit between negligent parties whose negligence was part of the legal and proximate cause of any loss or injury; and
(2) To apportion the total damages resulting from the loss or injury according to the proportionate fault of each party
Florida is a pure comparative fault jurisdiction
If you are partially at fault for the accident, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For instance, if the full value of the case is $100,000, and the jury, judge or adjuster finds you 50% at fault, you will receive $50,000. This comparative fault equation can get complicated if the parties cannot agree on the degree of fault or if there are multiple parties that may be at fault for the incident.
If you have any questions about a Florida personal injury claim or the concept of comparative fault (negligence), contact Guy S. DiMartino, DC, JD, a Leesburg personal injury attorney at (352) 267-9168.