Florida’s Pure Comparative Negligence Rule
If you are found to share any level of fault for the accident, then that means you will own some share of liability. The state of Florida applies the pure comparative negligence rule to all personal injury cases. This means that if you made a small mistake that contributed to the accident, then any compensation you collect will be reduced to account for your level of fault.
For example, imagine you are injured in an auto accident after another car decided to change lanes without looking and run you off the road. However, dashcam footage shows that you were speeding at the time of the accident. The court may rule that your excessive speeds contributed to the accident, and assign you with 20% fault. If the court ultimately decides to award you $100,000 in compensation, that number will be reduced by 20%, or $20,000, to account for your level of fault in causing the accident. This means that you would only be eligible to collect $80,000.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
If you suffer a personal injury, you have to prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care which they did not fulfill. You must then prove that their failure to uphold that duty of care resulted in damage to you.
Your car insurance policy should include personal injury protection coverage, known as PIP coverage. This is the coverage that will reimburse you for specific out-of-pocket expenses like medical bills and lost income, even if you were at fault for the car accident. Whether the accident happened in Tallahassee, Jacksonville, or Miami, Florida, the PIP coverage applies.
Statute of Limitations
Keep the timeframe in mind. After the date of the accident, you have four years to file a personal injury claim in most cases. If your claim is against the local or state government in Florida, remember that you will have less than four years. Claims for professional malpractice and wrongful death also have statutes of limitations of less than four years. Speak with your attorney about the specifics of your case to make sure that you are filing all of the necessary paperwork within the statute of limitations.
Depending on the case, you may be able to receive punitive damages that go beyond reimbursement for the medical and lost income costs associated with your injuries. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish a wrongdoer who recklessly or intentionally harms someone. The amount of compensation you could receive for your personal injury depends on the specific circumstances of your case.
Florida has limits on punitive damages. In most common situations, like car accidents and slip and fall injuries, Florida has set a cap. In these cases, the total punitive damages you can generally receive is equal to either three times the amount of the compensation you are awarded, or up to $500,000, whichever amount is greater. If you are unsure about the amount of damages you would be eligible to receive, it’s best to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer who can answer all of your questions and address any concerns you may have.
Work with a Personal Injury Attorney You Can Trust
When you suffer a personal injury, the process of receiving compensation for your medical expenses and lost income can be difficult and stressful. The last thing you want to worry about during your recovery process is overcoming the stress and anxiety of a legal case.
That’s why I’ve spent over 30 years working with individuals and families in Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, and across the entire state of Florida to help them pursue the compensation they need after an accident. If you or someone you know has been injured and is looking for reliable legal guidance, contact my firm, the Glober Law Firm, today to schedule a free case consultation. Together we can discuss the unique details of your case and outline a plan to pursue the justice you deserve.