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What is the Role of Negligence in Florida Personal Injury Claims?

Posted on September 26, 2017

In Winter Park, Florida, personal injury law guarantees that the injured party is provided relief for injuries incurred due to the negligence of a third party. This relief is generally in the form of monetary compensation or what we call “damages.”

When we talk about personal injury claims, negligence plays a critical role in determining why the injury occurred and who was responsible for it. It is thus important to determine whose negligence led to that accident and how much did their negligence play a role in the resultant injuries. That is where a skilled personal injury attorney can help. At Farah & Farah, we use years of experience to represent the interests of Winter Park residents who have been injured due to the thoughtlessness of another. Let us put that knowledge to work for you in your personal injury case.

What are the Negligence Laws in Winter Park, FL?

Negligence, when used in determining compensation for personal injury claims, is legally defined as the failure to exercise reasonable care that is expected of someone in order to ensure minimum risk of harm to another person. The concept of negligence is used as the primary factor for most personal injury cases whether they are related to car accidents, slips and falls and/or medical malpractice. 

Are you thinking about filing a personal injury claim? Contact Farah & Farah today!

The amount of compensation that the injured party gets is dependent on the circumstances of the incident in question, the level of injuries and the level of negligence. If the injured party also played a role in the resultant injuries, the compensation may be lower. However, while the amount may be reduced, this is not to say that the injured party cannot recover any damages even though he may have been partly at fault. As previously stated, decisions related to such matters are entirely dependent on the exact specifics of each individual case. If there was more than one negligent party involved in the incident which caused injury to another party, each negligent party has to pay their share of responsibility.

Types of Negligence Laws

Florida follows the principle of pure comparative negligence. This is mainly due to the realization that in many cases, more than one party’;s negligence could contribute to an accident and it is especially useful when there are questions regarding who exactly was at-fault for causing the injuries and whether the plaintiff contributed to this negligence and was also partially responsible for causing the accident. The pure comparative negligence system is better at handling such situations since it allows the plaintiff to collect damages even if they were partially at fault. There is no cap on this. Even if the plaintiff was 90% at fault, they could still sue the other party for 10% of damages.

Florida’;s system is fairly different from other approaches used by other states. Some states follow the contributory negligence philosophy. Under this approach, if two people were involved in an accident, the injured party can only be compensated for damages if they did not contribute in any way to the accident in question. That means that if the injured party is even 5% at fault, they would not be able to recover any damages whatsoever. This is the way a pure contributory negligence system works. Currently, only five states in the US follow this rule.

There is a third philosophy as well which is called the Modified Comparative Fault Rule. There are two types within this category — the 50% Bar Rule and the 51% Bar Rule.  12 states follow the 50% Bar Rule which is based on the premise that the injured party cannot recover any damages if they 50% or more at fault. They are only entitled to damages if they were at 49% at fault or less. 21 states use the 51% Bar Rule which is based on the premise that the injured party cannot recover any damages if they were 51% or more at fault. If they were 50% or less at fault, they could be compensated, but that compensation will be affected by the degree of fault.

If You Want to File a Florida Personal Injury Claim

Most people don’;t realize it, but even if your case is strong and you have evidence to clearly prove negligence by the other party, insurance companies can still make the entire process very difficult for you. In addition, Florida has a statute of limitations, and if you want to make sure you receive damages due to injuries caused by negligence, you have to do so within four years of the date it occurred. If the injury is due to medical malpractice, you have two years within which you must file the claim. The same is true for personal injury claims related to wrongful death. You cannot file a suit at all if you don’;t do it within these timelines.

If your personal injury claim is for damages up to $5000, the matter can typically be handled by the small claims court. If the injury you incurred is minor and one that is not likely to result in any incapacity or significant medical care, you can decide to pursue the matter in the smalls claim court. However, if you were seriously injured and you are not sure about the specifics of your case or what damages you may be entitled to, consult one of our attorneys at Farah and Farah. Our legal team has significant experience in dealing with personal injury claims and lawsuits, and we will ensure that you are able to meet all the legal requirements when filing your claim and are able to do so with the regulatory deadlines.

Schedule a Consultation with a Winter Park Personal Injury Lawyer Today

The attorneys at Farah & Farah will help you whether the other party was totally at fault or whether you had some role to play in the accident but incurred injuries anyway. Our lawyers understand personal injury law in Florida, and we will make sure that you are adequately compensated for any damages you may have incurred as a result of the accident. Whether it was an accident, wrongful death, malpractice or assault and abuse, we are here to help you deal with the situation and claim what is rightfully yours. These claims are time-bound so if you are a victim of an injury due to the negligence of another party, contact us today, and our legal team will assist you in resolving your legal matters.