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Florida Negligence Laws


If you are involved in a car crash, slip and fall or other type of accident in Florida, it’s important to understand your rights to compensation. What you may not know is that if you are involved in an accident and severely injured, you may still be considered partially liable for your role in the incident.

Each state has its own laws regarding negligence and financial recovery. Florida, for example, follows pure comparative negligence laws. The state adopted these laws in the 1970s with the rationale that not all accident cases are clear-cut. It is fair for each party to be held liable for their role in an accident, without completely losing out on compensation.

The Florida legislature adopted the comparative negligence standard in the 1970s. The rationale was clear and accurate – causes of accidents are not always black and white and it is fair and reasonable for each responsible party to shoulder their portion of the blame for causing a collision.

Pure Comparative Negligence in Florida

Under Florida Statutes Section 768.81, Florida is a pure comparative negligence state. What this means is that multiple people—even the victim who was injured—can be at fault for an accident. However, they can still recover compensation for injuries; it’s just that their financial recovery is reduced based on their percentage of fault. For example, if the amount of damages is $100,000, but they are 20% at fault, then their recovery is reduced by 20%. This means they would be able to recover only $80,000.

In Florida, a person can be 99% at fault for an accident and still receive compensation. However, they would receive just 1% of the available damages. If there were $100,000 in damages, they would receive just $1,000. The only way they would receive no compensation at all would be if they were 100% at fault.

This is different from modified comparative negligence. This law bars recovery at a certain threshold—usually 50 or 51%. This means that if a person was more than this percentage at fault, then they receive nothing. They cannot be 99% at fault and receive compensation. Therefore, the burden is on the victim to prove that the other party was at least 50% at fault.

The harshest negligence law is pure contributory negligence. What this means is if the plaintiff contributes to his or her injuries in any way—even just 1%—then they are completely barred from recovery. They will not receive a penny in compensation, which can be very unfair to victims with serious injuries and huge medical bills. Just four states and the District of Columbia follow this law, as it is often criticized by being so harsh on victims.

Contact a Coral Springs Personal Injury Attorney

If you were injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s important to know the laws regarding compensation. The good news is that you cannot be barred from recovery in Florida. However, your compensation can be reduced depending on your percentage of liability.

The Coral Springs personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Barry S. Mittelberg, P.A. can assess your case and help you obtain as much compensation as possible. Schedule a free consultation by calling our office at (954) 752-1213.

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