What Happens If You Are Partially At Fault for Your Lawsuit?
We often see clients who are negligently injured stress because they were partially at fault for their injuries. Under Florida Law, it's okay to be partially at fault for your lawsuit. However, these laws vary from state to state.
The contributory Negligence States
In some states, the traditional common law of contributory negligence is still enacted. This rule comes from the distrust from jurors have towards plaintiffs, the ones who are injured in the case. The rule served to deter jurors from being sympathetic towards the plaintiff.
This rule prohibits a plaintiff from suing if they in some way contributed to their fault. That means even if they were 1% at fault, they are not able to sue. Only a few states still use this old and traditional rule. In fact, only four states (Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, and Maryland), as well as the District of Colombia, still use this law.
There are a few exceptions to this rule in those states. If the plaintiff can prove that the defendant had the last clear chance to avoid the accident, then they can still sue. Additionally, if the plaintiff can prove that the injuries were caused as a result of the defendant's wanton, willful acts the claim can still proceed as well.
What Happens in Florida If you are Partially At Fault for your Lawsuit?
Florida operates under a law that is called "Pure Comparative Negligence." Since 1973, a party can sue for their injuries unless he was 100% at fault. That means if you were 80% at fault and the defendant was 20% at fault, you still have a lawsuit. However, the amount of recovery will be reduced by your proportionate fault. Therefore, if a jury delivers a verdict of $100,000 in the above example, you can only recover $20,000 since you contributed 80% to the accident.
However, it is often quite difficult to prove fault in personal injury cases. To prove the fault, eyewitnesses, photos, and video footage play an impactful role to do so. Furthermore, statements that are said to an insurance company can be used to prove fault on the part of the plaintiff. For this reason, we suggest to read this article and avoid doing these six things.
How do I prove my Lawsuit in Florida?
Most personal injury lawsuits are proved by negligence, while there are some exceptions. To prove negligence, the plaintiff must show:
- The defendant had a duty of a certain standard of care to the plaintiff
- And the defendant breached that duty of care
- The defendant proximately and legally caused the injuries
- Harm or Injuries
An experienced lawyer can help determine if a certain standard of care was owed to you. Moreover, they can assess the claim and determine whether the defendant failed to act as he was supposed to. This standard of care varies from the defendant to defendant; therefore, it really depends upon the facts of the case.
Seek Advice About your Lawsuit
We understand there are so many elements to a lawsuit. The fault of the plaintiff, the fault of the defendants, the standard of care that was owed to you is just a few of the factors. Our goal at Lulich Attorneys & Consultants is to make your life simpler.
For this reason, we offer Free Case Evaluations. Call us today to take advantage of a Free Case Strategy Session with an Attorney. Call our Sebastian Offices (772-589-5500) or our Vero Beach Offices (772-774-7771). You can also start this process by filling out a Free Case Evaluation form on our website by clicking here.