A few weeks ago in Lake County, a 20-year-old man was killed when he was struck by a drunk driver. According to a report by a local news source, the accident occurred on eastbound State Road 46, just east of Wekiva River Road.
Evidently, the victim was standing in the eastern-most lane when the drunk driver struck him, sending the man into the median. He died on the scene. Apparently, the victim was on his way to Wekiva River to meet up with some friends.
The driver has been arrested and charged with misdemeanor DUI and failure to submit to a breathalyzer test. It is not clear whether the victim in this case was at fault in the accident.
Comparative Fault in Florida Personal Injury Cases
Sometimes, an accident is not purely one party’s fault but is instead the result of several parties’ negligent actions or poor choices. In these cases, Florida law allows for the apportionment of damages according to how “at fault” the jury determines each party is.
For example, two parties might cause an accident that injures a completely innocent third party. If one of the parties is found to be 20% at fault, and the other 80% at fault, that is how much each party will be responsible when it comes time to pay the injured damages.
However, sometimes the injured party is partially at fault for the accident. Consider the facts above and assume that the victim here was negligently crossing the road where there was no crosswalk. A jury may determine that he was to some degree at fault for the accident. In these cases, Florida law still allows for the victim (or the victim’s family, if the victim is deceased) to bring an action against the other parties involved. However, any damages awarded will be reduced by the percentage at fault that the injured party was found to be.
For example, if the jury returns a verdict in favor of the inured party for $1 million, but also finds that he was 40% at fault for the accident, the injured party will be entitled to recover $600,000 from the parties at fault. This is the legal doctrine of comparative fault.
Have You Been Injured in a Florida Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a serious Florida accident of any kind, you may be entitled to monetary damages to compensate you for your injuries or loss. This may still be the case even if you or your loved one was partially at fault for the accident. However, keep in mind that any award you receive would be reduced by the percent at fault you or your loved one is found to be. Therefore, it is critical that you have a dedicated accident attorney by your side to make out your case for you, potentially increasing the total award you will receive. Click here, or call 352-387-8700 to schedule a free initial consultation with a dedicated Florida accident attorney.
More Blog Posts:
Florida Court Explains When the Procedural Requirements for Medical Malpractice Cases Apply, Ocala Injury Lawyers Blog, published May 29, 2014.
Police Identify Hit-and-Run Driver Responsible for the Deaths of Three Single Mothers, Ocala Injury Lawyers Blog, published July 31, 2014.