Comparative Negligence: Seeking Compensation In A Personal Injury Lawsuit When You Are Partially At Fault
Negligence is a legal term that means taking actions that put others at risk or failing to take reasonable precautions to prevent personal injuries. Proving others were negligent is at the heart of any personal injury claim. However, what happens if you share a portion of the blame? Our Naples personal injury lawyer explains how even if you were partially at fault, you may still be entitled to compensation.
Determining Blame When Personal Injuries Happen
Personal injuries in Naples can happen for a variety of reasons. Car accidents, construction site accidents, slips and falls, and defective products are all common causes. These and other types of so-called ‘accidents’ typically occur due to the reckless and negligent actions of others involved. Common examples include:
- Reckless driving behaviors, such as speeding, running red lights, and driving under the influence;
- Failure on the part of property owners to provide proper maintenance or warn visitors of potential dangers;
- Failure on the part of construction site managers to contain debris and keep passersby off the premises;
- Recklessness on the part of designers, manufacturers, or distributors of products in failing to take standard safety precautions, provide proper instructions, or pull dangerous and defective items off shelves.
Determining who was negligent and therefore responsible for damages you suffer is central to filing a personal injury claim. This typically involves hiring a personal injury lawyer to investigate and gather evidence, such as accident reports, witness statements, and surveillance footage from the scene. However, accidents are complex events and it is not uncommon for both parties involved to share a portion of the blame. In this situation, you may still be entitled to compensation under the legal theory of comparative negligence.
Florida Contributory Fault Laws
Actions on your part may have played a contributing role in an accident and in the personal injuries you suffered as a result. In some states, this would prevent you from seeking compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. Fortunately, that is not the case when filing a personal injury claim in Naples.
The legal theory of comparative negligence, referred to as comparative fault under the Florida Statutes, dictates that you may still be entitled to compensation, though the amount may be reduced based on the percentage for which you are to blame. For example:
- You suffer $100,000 in damages in an accident;
- The other party if determined to be 60 percent to blame;
- You are determined to be 40 percent responsible;
- You would be entitled to $60,000, which deducts the percentage for which you were at fault from the total amount of damages suffered.
Discuss Your Case With Our Naples Personal Injury Lawyer
Proving the other party is at fault and minimizing the amount your amount of contributory blame can make a major difference in a personal injury lawsuit. To discuss your case and how to get the maximum amount you need to recover from your injuries, reach out to Cardinal Law, P.A. Call or contact our Naples personal injury lawyer and request a consultation today.