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Can I Recover Damages If I’m At-Fault?

Getting involved in a car accident is never an easy experience, often resulting in injury, emotional distress and large amounts of financial loss. One of the first things on a driver’s mind after getting into an accident usually revolves around, “How will I be able to pay for this?” Fortunately, thanks to Florida tort law, even partially at-fault drivers can still collect compensation following a car accident.

Pure Comparative Negligence

In the state of Florida, drivers who share responsibility in an auto accident may still be able to recover compensation. This is because Florida follows the legal practice of pure comparative negligence. Pure comparative negligence allows a plaintiff to recover damages even if they are found to be partially at fault for an accident, as long as their percentage of fault is less than the defendant’s.

How Does it Work?

For example, say you are involved in a car accident where the other driver encroaches into your lane without signaling or checking their blindspots. You were also not paying attention to the road, and the resulting accident was a sideswipe. In this case, the other driver could likely be found 70 percent at fault for the accident, while you would be 30 percent at fault.

However, because the other driver was more at fault than you were, you would still be able to recover damages from them (just 30 percent less than what you could have received).

How Does it Differ From Other Fault Practices?

Out of all tort law principles, pure comparative negligence allows drivers the best chance to collect compensation. Other fault principles include:

  • Modified Comparative Negligence – Commonly referred to as the “50 or 51 percent bar rule”, drivers may not collect compensation for an accident where they are assigned either 50-51 or greater percentage of fault.
  • Pure Contributory Negligence – Practiced in only five states, pure contributory negligence bars drivers from collecting compensation if they were found even 1 percent at fault for the accident.

Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A. Can Help You Obtain Your Deserved Compensation

Pure comparative negligence can be a complex legal doctrine, and it can be challenging to determine your percentage of fault in an accident without the help of an experienced car accident attorney. An experienced attorney will know how to investigate your accident and build a strong case that minimizes your percentage of fault. If you have been in a car accident, contact Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A. today to discuss your case.

If you were injured in a car accident in Ft. Lauderdale, call Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A. today at (954) 467-8800 or fill out our form online.