Comparative Negligence in Florida Car Accidents Cases
Initially, in the aftermath of a car accident, it can be unclear which party is responsible for causing the collision and any resulting injuries. Oftentimes it is not just one person, but multiple parties that have acted negligently and therefore contributed to the damages arising from the crash. The Florida legal system takes into account this reality, allowing victims to receive compensation from multiple liable parties under the rule of comparative negligence. If you have been injured or a loved one has suffered a fatality under these circumstances, Miami car accident lawyer Robert Dixon can help you determine what factors led to the collision, and also identify any potential defendants. The Law Offices of Robert Dixon offers seasoned and knowledgeable legal representation for personal injury and wrongful death claims arising out of motor vehicle collisions across South Florida, including in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. If you have questions regarding who might be at fault for a car accident and related injuries, contact our office to set up a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.Comparative Negligence in Florida Car Accident Cases
The vast majority of car accidents are caused by one or more driver’s negligent actions. Negligence occurs when a party has breached the duty that requires them to act as a reasonable and prudent person would under the circumstances, causing injury to another and resulting in damages. All motorists and road users owe a duty of reasonable care to each other. As such, a driver can be held liable for damages caused by unreasonable actions such as excessive speeding, tailgating, failing to yield the right of way, and other dangerous maneuvers. In some cases, more than one motorist may have participated in negligent acts that lead to injury. Additionally, vehicle manufacturers can be held accountable for injuries caused by defective parts or vehicles that they allow into the stream of commerce.
Under Florida law, courts award damages in personal injury and wrongful death cases based on a pure comparative negligence scheme of liability, and more than one negligent party may be held responsible for a victim’s injuries. A skilled car accident lawyer can assess how these rules may apply in your situation. Under this framework, each liable party must pay damages in proportion to the degree of negligence they are determined to have in a case. Further, the state’s pure comparative theory of fault allows plaintiffs to file claims against any negligent party, regardless of whether or not plaintiffs themselves are mostly to blame. States that adhere to a modified comparative negligence rule do not allow plaintiffs to receive damage awards if they are found to exceed a certain proportion of fault in causing their own injuries.
As an example of how comparative negligence operates in Florida car accident cases, an accident may occur whereby a speeding driver hits a motorist who is making a turn without having the right of way. The speeding driver may have suffered an injury, and therefore may file a claim against the turning driver. Even if the court determines that the speeding plaintiff is 60 percent liable for causing the accident, that plaintiff may still be awarded 40 percent of the damages from the negligent turning driver. Victims injured in car accidents may be entitled to compensation for past and future medical expenses, any changes in earning capacity, lost income, and sometimes, depending on the severity of an injury, pain and suffering damages.Consult an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Miami
If you are unsure about your legal rights following a vehicle crash that seems to have been caused by more than one person, a seasoned injury attorney can help you understand how the rule of comparative negligence applies in Florida car accident cases. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we are available to answer your questions and assist with your legal claims as you focus on recovering from your injuries. We offer comprehensive legal services for injury victims, as well as those who have lost loved ones in devastating accidents. If you’ve been injured or a loved one has passed away as a result of a collision, please call (877) 499-4878 or contact us online to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to learn more. We represent clients in areas including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.