One tactic commonly used by insurance carriers and at-fault parties to reduce how much money they pay is to blame the injury victim for causing their own injuries. Even though this could play a role in lowering the compensation amount, it is crucial to understand that Florida operates under what is called a “pure comparative negligence” system for most personal injury claims.
What this means is that an individual can still recover compensation regardless of how much fault they had for the incident, even up to 99% of the fault. However, the total amount of compensation an individual receives will be reduced based on their percentage of fault. For example, if an individual slip and falls on a recently mopped floor in a department store and sustains a brain injury, and there were no “wet floor” signs present, they may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the store to recover compensation. Let us suppose, for this scenario, the individual incurs $100,000 worth of medical bills and other expenses.
However, what happens if the department store says that the injury victim is partially responsible for causing their injury because they were looking at their cell phone screen and taking a selfie when the incident occurred, and they would otherwise have seen the wet floor?
For the purposes of this scenario, let us assume that a jury assigns 30% of the fault to the injury victim. In this situation, the injury victim will receive $70,000 instead of the full $100,000 to account for their percentage of fault.