What if I am Partially to Blame for my Own Injury?
If you are injured in a car accident, slip and fall, dog bite, or other kind of accident that is primarily the fault of someone else, you may be able to recover damages to help cover all or part of your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses due to the accident. However, sometimes it is not as clear who is at fault for the accident. Depending on the kind of accident, and your level of fault, your own contribution to the accident may or may not affect the amount of damages that you are able to recover in Florida. Each case and situation is different, so if you are injured in an accident you should contact a knowledgeable personal injury attorney as soon as possible so they can help you with your claim for damages.
For most personal injury cases in Florida, in order to recover damages the plaintiff must prove that the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence. In order to prove negligence, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant had a duty of care to the plaintiff, that the defendant acted below the duty of care owed, and that the violation of the duty of care caused the accident, which caused the injuries of the plaintiff. Mere causation is not enough, the defendant must have actually been negligent in most cases in order for the plaintiff to recover, though there are some exceptions.
In Florida, if you are partially responsible for the accident that caused your injuries, you still may be able to recover because of Florida’s comparative negligence law. Florida follows a pure comparative negligence scheme, which means that the recovery of the plaintiff will be reduced by the percentage of their own culpability. For example, if the plaintiff is found to be 10% responsible for $1000 worth of damages, then they will only be able to recover $900.
One exception to the requirement of negligence by the defendant is strict liability. Strict liability means that whether there is negligence or not, the plaintiff can recover damages from the defendant. One area of Florida personal injury law that has strict liability is dog bites. In many states, owners of dogs are only liable for the damage caused by their dogs if they had reason to know that the dog had a propensity to bite, usually by having bitten someone in the past. In Florida, whether the owner was negligent or not, they are responsible for paying damages when their dog bites someone.
Contact Us Today for Help
If you are injured in any kind of accident, you should contact a skilled personal injury attorney as soon as possible to find out whether you may be able to recover any damages from the person at fault for the accident. Our experienced personal injury attorneys at Roman & Roman in Clearwater, Florida can help you get the damages that you deserve.