Determining who is at fault in a Florida car accident is not always as straightforward as it may seem. While some accidents involve a clear error on the part of one driver, other accidents present a much more difficult situation. For example, chain-reaction accidents can involve multiple parties, each of whom may be partly at fault for the collision. Determining who is at fault in these accidents and dividing up the fault according to each driver’s actions is a difficult task that is most often left to the courts.
Florida uses the comparative negligence rule when determining which accident victims are permitted to recover compensation for their injuries and how much they should recover. Under the comparative negligence doctrine, each party who is injured in an accident is entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit against the party or parties they believe to be responsible for their injuries. If the jury determines that a plaintiff is partially at fault for their own injuries, that plaintiff’s total award amount will be reduced by their own percentage of fault.
Florida’s comparative negligence method is considered to be much more plaintiff-friendly than the alternative doctrine applied in other states, called contributory negligence. Under a contributory negligence analysis, any person who is determined to be even the slightest bit at fault for an accident cannot recover for their injuries.