Understanding Comparative Negligence and Diminished Recovery in Florida
If you have been injured physically or suffered financial losses due to an automobile accident, you need to seek counsel from a qualified Pensacola car accident attorney. This is especially true because of something you may not be aware of: “comparative negligence.” If you’re not aware of the precept of “comparative negligence,” the defense may try to use against you, so that they can get away with paying you less in damages. “Comparative negligence” is written into Florida law. What it means is that by showing negligence on the part of the victim, an at-fault driver can shirk some of their financial obligation from the accident they caused. This may cause the defense to try to claim that you were partly at fault for the accident.
Chances are, you and your Pensacola car accident attorney will be pushing for negligence. Florida tort statute §768.81(2) clearly states that “contributory fault chargeable to the claimant diminishes proportionally to the amount awarded as economic and noneconomic damages for an injury attributable to the claimant’s contributory fault…” The statute continues on to say that each party will be responsible for a percentage of the appointment based on what percentage of fault they were responsible for.
Can the Victim of the Accident be Held as Negligent? Partly…
In plain English, what that means is that if the at-fault party and their attorney claim that the victim was also in some way negligent, the victim’s compensation may be reduced or, in some extreme cases, the victim may even have to pay damages. This is why it is so important to seek out a qualified Pensacola car accident attorney if you’ve been injured by a negligent driver.
The tort statute in question may sound arbitrary or subjective. In a way, it is. How do you quantify or prove that a car accident victim was “15% at fault?” These percentages are at best an estimate; there is no clear-cut, unambiguous mathematical equation to calculate these numbers. Is anyone really a perfect driver, alert and attentive 100% of the time? Unfortunately, the at-fault party and their legal counsel can claim these dubious percentages to rob you of the compensation you deserve.
To protect yourself against an at-fault party’s claim of comparative negligence, you need a Pensacola car accident attorney with an expert understanding of Florida law. That’s where Joe Zarzaur comes in. Joe Zarzaur is a Pensacola car accident attorney with a stellar track record and years of experience disproving claims of comparative negligence. Joe is one of the select few Florida attorneys to be board certified in civil litigation. He never backs down from insurance companies or defense lawyers, and won’t stop until he gets a verdict that awards you fair and just compensation. Hire Joe, and you’ll quickly find out why reckless drivers hate him so much: because he gets his clients what they deserve.
- An all go, no quit interview on Rankings.io podcast with Joe Zarzaur. - July 9, 2020
- Zarzaur Named One of Florida’s Legal Elite™ - June 25, 2020
- Can You Fire Your Lawyer, Even After Signing a Contract? - June 18, 2020