How Does Florida’s Comparative Negligence Law Impact Car Accident Settlements?

In many car accident cases, there is usually one party who is liable for causing the accident and the other who is considered the victim. When it is clear that one party is responsible for causing a crash, the victim may be entitled to recover compensation from their insurer, the at-fault party’s insurer, and/or by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver. But what happens when both parties contributed to the accident?

Would they both be required to turn to their own insurer for compensation? Would either party be barred from recovering compensation from the other seeing that they each contributed to the accident?

While both parties can certainly file a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance claim with their own insurance carrier as this will cover an accident regardless of who caused it, either party may also be entitled to bring a lawsuit against the other given serious injuries were sustained. If one party decides to file suit against the other, whether it is because the other driver is underinsured or their insurance limits aren’t enough to cover their damages, their settlement could be affected if they won.


What is Florida’s Comparative Negligence Law?


Under Florida law, a driver shall not be barred from recovering damages from another party they were involved in an accident with but will be subject to having their award reduced by their percentage of fault. Essentially, what this means is that even if a car accident victim was partially liable for a wreck, if a court has determined that they are entitled to damages (i.e. financial relief), their award amount will be diminished by the percentage of fault the court has assigned them.

For example, if the court found a driver to be 30% at-fault for an accident and their award was $75,000, their amount would be reduced by $22,500, leaving them with $52,500.


What types of damages might a car accident be entitled to recover?


  1. Economic Damages. These types of damages refer to losses that be calculated. Some examples include past lost income and future lost income, medical expenses, lost support and services, medical expenses, etc.


  1. Noneconomic damages. These types of damages are much more difficult to calculate as they aren’t out-of-pocket losses. Instead, noneconomic damages refer to things like pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, etc.


Speak with a Daytona Beach, FL Accident Lawyer After a Collision


Because it can be difficult for a driver to determine what their role was in an accident, it is best they don’t provide statements to the insurer or the other party involved until they have spoken with a Daytona Beach, FL accident lawyer. It is important for drivers to refrain from admitting fault when they are unclear as to what factors caused the crash as this could impact their ability to recover compensation.

To discuss a recent crash with an accident attorney in Daytona Beach, FL, contact Pappas and Russell, P.A.The lawyers at this firm would be happy to help an accident victim understand how they should proceed and can even assess their injuries and determine what they may be entitled to recover in terms of compensation.


Pappas and Russell, P.A. is located at:


213 Silver Beach Avenue

Daytona Beach, FL 32118

Phone: 386-254-2941

Website: www.pappasrussell.com

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