If you are injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, to succeed in your claim, you must prove that the other driver caused the accident and you suffered injuries due to their negligent act. In some car accident cases, both drivers may be partially at fault. This is known as comparative negligence.
The Fran Haasch Law Group lawyers have years of experience helping car accident victims get the money they deserve. So contact us today for a free case review, and let us help you get started on your case!
What is Negligence?
Negligence is a legal theory that is often used in personal injury cases. It basically means that the person who caused the accident did not use reasonable care and, as a result, someone was injured. To prove negligence, you must show four things:
- The other driver had a duty to use reasonable care;
- The other driver breached that duty;
- You were injured as a result of the breach; and
- The other driver’s negligence was the cause of your injuries.
There are many different ways that a driver can breach their duty of care. For example, they could be speeding, driving while impaired, or texting while driving. If you can prove that the other driver breached their duty of care and that their negligence caused your accident, then you will likely be able to recover damages.
What is Comparative Negligence?
Comparative negligence is a legal theory used in personal injury cases where both drivers are at fault. Under this theory, the amount of damages that each driver is liable for is determined by their percentage of fault.
Using the comparative negligence theory, the victim must first prove that the other driver was negligent. Once negligence has been established, the court will determine each driver’s percentage of fault.
Models of Comparative Negligence
There are three different models of comparative negligence that are used in other states:
Pure Comparative Negligence States
Under pure comparative negligence laws, your level of negligence is treated in terms of percentages. Under this model, the victim can recover damages even if they are 99% at fault. However, their percentage of negligence will be used to reduce their monetary verdict.
Modified Comparative Negligence States
Modified comparative negligence states also reduce the amount awarded to a plaintiff based on how much fault they had in the accident. Also considered partial comparative negligence, this rule has a cap on the “acceptable” level of negligence a plaintiff can have.
In some comparative negligence jurisdictions, plaintiffs can recover damages as long as they are less than 50% negligent for his or her own injuries, while others follow the 51% rule.
Pure Contributory Negligence States
A few states still follow the pure contributory negligence model. Under this model, plaintiffs cannot recover any damages if they are even slightly at fault for the accident.
Comparative Negligence Rules in Florida
Florida is a pure comparative fault state, which means victims can recover compensation even if their own negligence contributed to their injuries. For example, let’s say that you are involved in a car accident where both drivers are at fault. The other driver was speeding, and you were texting while driving. If the court finds that the other driver was 70% at fault for the accident and you were 30% at fault, and the damage reward is $100,000, you would only recover $70,000.
Monetary Damages in a Negligence Case
To recover compensation in a negligence case, the victim must prove that the other driver’s negligence was the cause of their injuries. If you can do this, you may be able to recover economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages have a specific monetary value, such as medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages do not have a specific monetary value, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Joint and Several Liability
In some cases, more than one driver may be found negligent. Each driver is jointly and severally liable for the victim’s damages when this happens. However, joint and several liability is no longer the rule in Florida. In Florida, defendants in personal injury cases are liable only for their percentage of fault.
For example, let’s say you are involved in a car accident with two other drivers. The court finds that all three drivers were negligent. Driver A was 50% at fault, driver B was 30% at fault, and you were 20% at fault.
If the victim’s damages are $100,000, then driver A would be responsible for $50,000, driver B would be responsible for $30,000, and you would be responsible for $20,000.
What Should You Do if You’ve Been Involved in a Car Accident?
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention, even if you don’t think you’ve been injured. Some injuries, such as whiplash, may not present themselves until days or weeks after the accident.
You should also contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your case. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options and help you build a strong case. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, don’t wait to get help. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney today.
Do I Need an Attorney?
Comparative negligence can be a complex legal theory, and it can be difficult to prove that the other driver was negligent. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to investigate your case and help you prove negligence. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact an attorney today for a free consultation.
What The Fran Haasch Law Group Can Do For You
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we focus on helping you and your family recover. We pursue personal injury lawsuits, and wrongful death claims to obtain full compensation for damages such as pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost earnings, property damage, and more.
With over 21 years of experience, we draw on constant legal and medical research to help clients recover after being injured in auto accidents in Tampa Bay and the surrounding areas. Founding personal injury attorney, Fran Haasch, is a lifetime member of the Multimillion Dollar Advocates Forum and a member of the American Association for Justice, the Florida Justice Association, and the Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association.
Our attorneys are skilled and experienced litigators. We are not afraid to take your lawsuit to trial if necessary. No matter how complicated your case, our firm is here to help you navigate the legal process from start to finish.
Contact a Lawyer Today
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we are committed to fighting for your fair recovery. We strive to help injured individuals and the loved ones of those wrongfully killed, secure the full, fair recovery they are owed. We offer dedicated legal representation for car accident victims and bicycle, rideshare, and semi-truck accident victims.
If you feel you have been the victim of a car accident through no fault of your own. Our attorneys are prepared to help you navigate the legal process and work toward securing the maximum compensation you are owed. Call (727) 784-8191 or contact us online to get started on receiving maximum compensation for your personal injury case.