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Comparative Fault: How it Affects Your Case

Judge's gavel with money under it

Florida is a pure comparative fault state, which many also call “comparative fault” or “comparative negligence”. This means that the percentage of responsibility assigned to each driver in a personal injury case determines how much compensation you may recover for your damages. It also means that even if a court finds you to be primarily at fault, then you can still recover compensation for any percentage of fault that the court assigns to the other driver.

For example, suppose an accident results in $100,000 in damages. If the other driver was 90 percent at fault, you could recover $90,000 from the other driver. If the other driver was 10 percent at fault, you could still recover $10,000 from the other driver.

After a car accident, the other driver’s insurance company can use anything you say to them to assign comparative fault to you – and potentially reduce your compensation from a personal injury lawsuit. Thus, you should not say anything to the insurance company of the other driver without a lawyer’s advice.

A lawyer will be able to discuss your potential liability. Also, they’ll be able to tell you on how to best maximize your recovery. Florida’s comparative fault law will not prevent you from recovering after a car accident. Yet, it can affect the amount of compensation you win in a case.

What is the Difference Between Pure Comparative Fault and Modified Comparative Fault?

Modified Comparative Fault and Pure Comparative Fault are similar legal standards different states practice throughout the country. Yet, the major difference between the two is that whereas the former limits an injured plaintiff’s ability to recover compensation from the defendant at a certain percentage of assigned blame, usually 50 or 51 percent, the latter does not. Modified Comparative Fault is not practiced in the state of Florida.

What about Contributory Negligence?

Contributory Negligence is a legal standard that keeps an injured plaintiff from recovering compensation for damages inflicted by the defendant in a personal injury claim. The following jurisdictions practice this legal standard; Maryland, Alabama, North Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.) Contributory Negligence is not practiced in the state of Florida and is not to be confused with Florida’s statute of Pure Comparative Fault.

More Questions?

For more information about auto accidents in Florida, call Hancock Injury Attorneys at 813-534-6929 or e-mail. You can also read more about the specifics of the comparative fault statute in Florida by clicking here.