Understanding Comparative Negligence for Florida Car Accident Claims
If you’re involved in a car accident and try to sue by claiming the other party was negligent, you may be surprised to learn that laws vary widely by state. For example, Florida is a comparative negligence state. Your local car accident lawyer knows all of the Florida state laws.
Comparative negligence basically means that your damage recovery is determined and can be reduced according to the percentage of blame you are assigned for causing the wreck. This is called contributory fault.
For help understanding comparative negligence for Florida car accident claims, see Section 768.81 of state law, which governs comparative negligence, and Section 768.31, which determines the contribution that will be paid by each party involved.
How Is Negligence Proven in a Comparative Negligence State?
Say, for example, you are driving down U.S. 98 and a tractor-trailer swerves into your lane and causes an accident. Then, because Big Brother is always watching, it’s discovered that you were on your phone when the accident occurred. Florida law would find both parties negligent and determine damages accordingly.
The basic question in any negligence finding is whether the defendants acted in a way that any reasonable person would under the same circumstances. Not obeying traffic laws or driving under the influence of substances can all reduce the damages you can collect.
The Multiplier Method
There are two types of evidence that will help prove your case, circumstantial evidence and direct evidence. Direct evidence is obtained through pictures, video, or GPS location information, as a few examples. Circumstantial evidence is trickier and requires an investigator to draw a conclusion based on facts that have been submitted.
After examining evidence, attorneys usually use the multiplier method to estimate non-economic damages in Florida. Your damages are multiplied by a number between 1 and 5, depending on the severity of your injuries.
More serious injuries receive a higher multiplier number. Using this method is not an exact science but it can give your lawyer a quick estimate of the amount of money you can expect to receive.
Confused by All of This? Reach Out to a Car Accident Lawyer
Florida car accident laws are so complicated because of comparative negligence that it will most likely be impossible to figure out on your own.
Your first phone call after a wreck should be to a car accident attorney who can improve your understanding of comparative negligence for Florida car accident claims. The lawyers at Gross & Schuster, P.A. will review your situation and customize an action plan, with the goal of maximizing the amount of compensation you receive.
Sustaining a serious injury because of someone else’s risky behavior is no joke, so don’t delay to contact our compassionate attorneys during this difficult time. Use our convenient chat feature to get more information, or give us a call at 850-434-3333 today.