How Does Florida’s Negligence Law Work?

Personal injury cases will often revolve around the negligence of the party being blamed for the damage. In order to collect compensation, the plaintiff in a civil case must prove that the defendant is liable because of a failure to perform duties and responsibilities. This breach of duty should be directly tied to the specific injury. The court will have to determine if a reasonable person would have acted in the same way as the defendant or not. The specifics will often vary depending on the statutes in the state. So, how does Florida’s negligence law work?

Comparative Negligence

In some states, the plaintiff will have to show that his hands are clean and that the defendant is the only negligent party in order to collect any form of compensation. Florida, on the other hand, recognizes that fault is not always absolute. Sometimes an accident can happen because of the actions of two or more parties. However, one side will usually suffer more damage than the others. In such a case, the compensation will be awarded based on the comparative negligence of the parties. The one who is deemed to be more negligent will have to pay the other, with the amounts based on their contributing actions.

Damage Caps

For regular personal injury cases, there are no damage caps that would limit the amount that plaintiffs can collect. They can get as much as they are reasonably entitled, subject to their relative fault as determined by the court, based on their medical expenses, lost wages, and other related costs. For medical malpractice cases, there is also no cap for non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, although a suitable monetary amount can be difficult to determine. As for punitive damages resulting from serious unethical behavior, the cap is set at half a million dollars or three times the amount of compensatory damages.

Time Limits

There is no single time limit for negligence cases since they are varied and must be dealt with individually. Those who are interested in filing a lawsuit must be mindful of the deadlines and move quickly so as not to forfeit their right to receive compensation for injuries.

Equating Fault with Liability

The way that negligence law works in the state of Florida is an attempt to produce fair judgments. Fault is tied to liability so that a person’s penalties are always commensurate to his actions. In Florida, it is considered as fundamentally unfair to make a person who is only twenty percent at fault to pay for one hundred percent of the damages. It is also unfair to deny an injured person the right to be compensated if he had a one percent contribution to the incident when the other party is ninety-nine percent responsible. Negligence can take the form of a failure to maintain a fleet of commercial vehicles or a wrong diagnosis of a certain ailment. To learn more about this subject, contact a personal injury lawyer in Boca Raton.

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