If you are involved in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, you have the right to recover compensation. However, your compensation is determined, in part, by the comparative negligence rule.
Understanding this rule and how it applies to your case is essential. At Fetterman & Associates, PA, we can explain this law and how it applies to your case.
You can also learn more about it and how it will impact the compensation you receive here.
Understanding Comparative Negligence and How It Affects Your Personal Injury Claim
In personal injury cases, comparative negligence is something commonly used by a defendant. It will reduce your compensation if you are partially at fault for the accident you were involved in.
Based on the comparative negligence rules, your fault percentage will reduce what you receive in damages. Under pure comparative negligence, you have the right to recover some amount of compensation, regardless of your percentage of fault.
For example, if your total damages were valued at $100,000 and you were found to be 60% at fault for the incident, you could still receive $40,000.
If you think you were partially (or mostly) at fault for the accident you were involved in, our legal team at Fetterman & Associates, PA, can help with your case. Our goal is to help you get the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to.
A Quick Overview of Negligence Laws in Florida
While comparative negligence is an important law in Florida accident cases, other negligence laws can impact your claim.
Understanding all of these will help you know what to expect during your claim.
Covenant Not to Sue or Release
A covenant not to sue or release is an agreement made by a plaintiff not to sue a certain defendant.
This rule may be considered when participating in some type of hazardous activity, like riding in a boat. You may make a promise not to sue the boat operator if you suffer an injury.
Sometimes, this comes into play when you reach a settlement with a defendant. In this situation, you make a promise not to file a lawsuit if they pay the agreed amount of compensation for the damages and injuries you sustained.
However, something to understand about these covenants is that they will only release the defendant who is listed in it. It will not release another defendant who may be liable for a plaintiff’s injuries.
Using the example above, if you are injured in a boat accident involving another boat and release the operator of the boat you are on, you can still seek compensation by suing the operator of the other boat involved in the accident. You can receive damages based on their percentage of fault.
If two people share responsibility for your injuries, and you agree to a settlement with one of these parties, you still have the right to sue the second person for their share of fault and your injuries.
Damages You Can Receive
The damages in a personal injury case are the compensation you receive for any injuries that are caused by another party’s negligence. The total amount of damages that you are entitled to recover differs based on the circumstances and facts of your case.
In Florida personal injury cases, you can receive two types of damages. One is special damages, and the other is general damages.
Special damages are also called economic damages. These include things like the following:
- All accident-related medical costs
- Lost wages and lost future earning capacity
- Costs for property damage
General damages are called non-economic damages. These include things like emotional damage and pain and suffering. When you call our legal team, we can help determine the compensation you are entitled to based on your case and situation.
Joint and Several Liability
Joint and several liabilities will apply if there are multiple defendants in your personal injury case. Based on this rule, every defendant is jointly and severally liable for the whole amount of damages experienced by the plaintiff.
However, this is no longer the rule in the state of Florida. In fact, defendants in Florida personal injury cases will still be liable only for their total percentage of fault.
If you are involved in a case with several defendants, our legal team can help you understand what you can recover from each person.
Why You Need a Personal Injury Attorney for Help with Your Claim
If you experience a personal injury, it can be traumatizing and have a huge impact on your life – now and in the future. Besides the injury you sustain, you must also deal with insurance companies, paperwork, and medical bills related to your accident. All these things can be overwhelming if you are trying to recover. In this situation, a personal injury lawyer can be an invaluable resource.
Trying to handle a personal injury claim alone is challenging. It may cause a longer claims process, lower settlement, and other issues if it is not handled properly. In other situations, you won’t receive any compensation.
Some of the top reasons to hire a Florida personal injury attorney can be found here.
Negotiating a Settlement
Most personal injury claims don’t go to court. Settlements are achieved through negotiations facilitated by your attorney. Your attorney will be a skilled negotiator and be able to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Expediting Your Personal Injury Claim
It isn’t unlikely that your claim will last for months or years without the help of an attorney. However, your attorney will work to keep things focused and ensure your case is moved along as quickly as possible.
Providing Representation in Court
If your attorney cannot negotiate a fair settlement, the last option is to file a lawsuit. If it comes to this, your case will go to court. While you have the legal right to handle the claim yourself, it is best to work with our experienced team.
An Objective Viewpoint
When involved in any legal matter, having an objective viewpoint is necessary. Personal injury cases are often traumatizing and emotional. It’s often difficult to maintain objectivity in these situations. Hiring a personal injury attorney will ensure that you have an objective voice and viewpoint when it comes to reviewing the details of your situation and claim.
Contact Our Legal Team for Help with Your Personal Injury Claim
If you experienced an injury because of someone else’s negligence, contact our legal team at Fetterman & Associates, PA, is here to help. Contact our offices and schedule a free initial consultation. We will discuss the details of your claim and make a plan on how you can move forward with your case. You can count on our legal team to provide you with the legal services and solutions you need in these difficult situations.
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