Florida is a comparative fault state | Rosenthal, Levy, Simon & Sosa

Florida is a comparative fault state

A previous post on this blog warned motorcyclists in this state not to engage in certain behavior, called lane splitting, that is considered illegal in Florida.

While it is certainly the case that motorcyclists and other drivers should follow this state’s traffic laws, it is also important for victims of car accidents, motorcycle accidents and other motor vehicle accidents to remember that Florida is somewhat unique among the states since it is what is called a pure comparative fault jurisdiction.

Like other states, at a certain point in history, Florida judges and lawmakers recognized that the traditional doctrine of contributory negligence, which prohibited victims from collecting compensation if they bore any share of responsibility for their own injuries, was effectively shutting people who deserved compensation out of the legal system.

After all, very few accident victims are absolutely faultless when it comes to what caused their accident. Indeed, a third party could almost always find after a severe accident that all of the drivers involved had a role in it.

Unlike many other states, however, Florida remains completely invested in the idea that a driver should always pay in proportion to how responsible he or she is for an accident. Thus, even if an injured victim was, say, 80 percent responsible for an accident, the victim can still sue the other responsible party to 20 percent of the cost of his or her injuries.

Just because Florida’s negligence laws give a victim leeway to sue even those who had a relatively minor role in causing the victim’s injuries does not mean it is always cost effective to do so. A West Palm Beach, Florida, car accident injury lawyer can help a person evaluate his or her legal options in light of the unique circumstances of his or her case.

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