Supreme Court in Maine Affirms Lower Court’s Personal Injury Ruling

Late last week, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled on a pending personal injury claim. According to court documents, a 27-year-old student from Romania was riding her bike to work in 2010 when she was involved in an accident. The student made a right turn because she assumed that the bus driver would continue driving straight. However, the bus driver made a right turn as well.

Unfortunately, the student hit the side of the school bus and ended up falling underneath it. The student sustained serious injuries as the bus drove over her body. The student filed a suit against the bus driver and the busing company, claiming that they were negligent. The bus company asked for a judgment as a matter of law after the plaintiff completed her presentation of evidence. It claimed that the student assumed the risk of making a right turn. However, the court denied its motions.

The jury found that the bus company was 75 percent at fault and that the student was 25 percent at fault. The bus company filed an appeal to the Supreme Court on the basis of what it believed was an incorrect jury instruction, but the Supreme Court affirmed the lower court’s decision.

Comparative Negligence in Florida

Many states have either a contributory negligence statute or a comparative negligence statute. In contributory negligence states, the state will bar recovery even if the plaintiff was only 1 percent at fault. However, in comparative negligence states recovery is usually only reduced depending on the amount of fault of the plaintiff. In some states, recovery will be barred if the plaintiff was more at fault than the defendant. Every state varies, and these statutes sometimes are different depending on the type of personal injury claim.

There are approximately 13 states that follow a pure comparative fault model. Florida has this type of statute. This pure comparative fault statute allows a victim to recover damages for his or her injuries even if the victim’s fault amounts to 99 percent. However, the recovery he or she will actually get is reduced by his or her amount of fault. So for example, in the above situation, if that occurred in Florida, the plaintiff’s recovery would be reduced by 25 percent because that is how much at fault the court determined she was.

It is important to contact an attorney because in many situations there are several parties involved, such as in the case above. In these circumstances, fault can be apportioned among several parties. This can be difficult and complex to deal with, and a significant amount of strategic planning may be necessary to ensure a successful outcome.

Contacting an Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle accident, it would be beneficial to contact an attorney at the Dean Law Firm in Ocala, Florida. Accidents can be devastating, and on top of the physical injuries and property damages, the legal aspects can be very complicated. It often involves the task of dealing with multiple parties, insurance companies, and even the chance of appeals. To increase your chances of success and to receive the monetary compensation you deserve, contact one of our dedicated attorneys today. Contact the Dean Law Firm at 352-387-8700 to schedule a free initial consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Florida Helicopter Crash Results in $16 Million Verdict, Ocala Injury Lawyers Blog, published October 3, 2014.

Florida Police Patrol Car Gets into Accident with SUV, Ocala Injury Lawyers Blog, published December 13, 2014.

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