What are Florida’s Comparative Negligence Laws?

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What are Florida’s Comparative Negligence Laws?

by | May 3, 2024 | Florida's Comparative Negligence Law

Navigating the legal aftermath of an accident can be daunting, especially when determining who is at fault and what compensation may be available. In Florida, like in many other states, understanding the concept of comparative negligence is crucial. So, what exactly are Florida’s comparative negligence laws, and how might they impact you in the event of an accident?

What is Comparative Negligence?

Consider a scenario where a pedestrian is crossing the street outside a designated Florida crosswalk. At the same time, a driver approaches the intersection, but they are distracted by their phone and fail to notice the pedestrian until it’s too late to stop. In this case, both the pedestrian and the driver share some responsibility for the accident.

Florida’s comparative negligence laws would determine each party’s degree of fault. The pedestrian may be deemed partially at fault for crossing the street outside a crosswalk, while the driver is also at fault for being distracted and failing to yield to the pedestrian.

Let’s say the court determines that the pedestrian is 40% responsible for the accident, while the driver is 60% responsible. In this scenario, damages would be allocated accordingly. If the total damages awarded were $10,000, the pedestrian would receive 60% of that amount, which is $6,000, while the driver would be entitled to 40%, which is $4,000.

What are Florida’s Comparative Negligence Laws?

For more than fifty years, Florida followed pure comparative negligence laws, which permitted injured parties to seek compensation regardless of their level of fault. However, in 2023, the landscape shifted with the passing of House Bill 837.

Under Florida’s revised modified comparative negligence laws, individuals are eligible to pursue damages only if their share of fault is below 50%. If someone is determined to be 50% or more responsible for an accident, they are ineligible to claim compensation. This change signifies that those considered partially liable may receive diminished compensation corresponding to their degree of fault.

How Florida Law Affects Your Personal Injury Case

Florida’s modified comparative negligence law has broad applicability, encompassing all negligence claims except medical malpractice cases, specifically addressed in Florida State Statute section 768.81(5). Furthermore, these updated negligence laws are effective for cases after March 24, 2023. Florida’s prior pure negligence statutes will govern any incidents preceding this date.

Have You Been Injured? We Are Here For You!

At Pacin Levine, P.A., our dedicated attorneys are committed to providing unwavering support and legal representation to individuals in Florida. If you’ve been injured in an accident and need assistance navigating the complexities of Florida comparative negligence laws, contact us for a free consultation at 1-800-24-7-CRASH (2727).

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