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What is comparative negligence?

The legal concept of negligence is a complex one. Generally, negligence is considered the failure of a person to fulfill their duty of care to a second individual and the injury of the second individual caused by the negligent party's breach of their duty. Florida recognizes negligence as a basis for a personal injury claim and requires victims to prove the elements of negligence to recover their damages.

However, when a personal injury accident victim sues the party that caused their harm based on negligence, the allegedly responsible party may claim that the victim was also negligent in the occurrence of the accident. When a victim is also negligent at the time of their accident and contributes to the situation that caused their injury, they may be partially held to blame for their losses.

In Florida, this shared liability is codified in the state's comparative negligence statute. What that means is that, if a victim is negligent, the recovery of their damages may be reduced from what it would have been had they not been negligent at all. The concepts of negligence and comparative negligence are complicated and readers should not rely on these generalized descriptions as legal advice. Professional assistance should be sought by those who are interested in pursuing negligence-based litigation.

Motor vehicle accidents and other forms of personal injury accidents often arise out of negligent and reckless behavior. Whether a victim was at all responsible for the harm that they suffered could impact how much they may be able to recover in damages. Comparative negligence may reduce their recovery based on how liable they were for creating their own harm.

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