What is Florida’s Modified Comparative Negligence Standard?

States across the U.S. manage negligence in personal injury claims differently. State comparative negligence laws determine the compensation amount, who can receive compensation after an accident, and who must pay the compensation.

As of March 2023, Florida determines negligence using the Modified Comparative Negligence Standard. This new bill has altered litigation across Florida and could impact your ability to receive compensation after an accident. 

Read on to learn more about Florida’s Modified Comparative Negligence standard and how it could impact your personal injury claim

Understanding Florida’s Modified Comparative Negligence Standard

Modified comparative negligence came into effect when a new bill was signed into law on March 24th, 2023. This bill enables people injured due to negligence to collect damages against an at-fault party/defendant proportional to the at-fault party’s percentage of fault, only if the claimant/plaintiff themselves are found to be 50% or less at fault for their injuries. 

With modified comparative negligence, injured parties determined to be more than 50% at fault cannot recover any damages. Injured parties determined to be 50% or less at fault can recover compensation, but it may be lessened based on their percentage of fault. This determination is made by a jury in court. 

Keep in mind that this doesn’t apply to claims for medical negligence. 

What’s Changes with the Modified Comparative Negligence Standard?

Before the new bill was signed into law, Florida operated with a pure comparative negligence standard. This means that injured parties could reap compensation for their damages, even if they were more than 50% at fault for the accident. However, their compensation could still be reduced based on the percentage of fault. 

For example, previously if a plaintiff in a negligence action who was 60% at fault for their injuries and a defendant who was 40% at fault; and a jury found total damages to be $100,000, then the plaintiff under the old standard could still collect $40,000 (40% of the total damages) against the defendant. Today, that same plaintiff would recover $0. The defendant’s 40% fault is simply disregarded. 

Florida’s modified comparative negligence standard can complicate your ability to receive your rightful compensation after an accident. This makes it even more crucial to have an experienced Florida personal injury attorney by your side to advocate for your best interests. 

Contact the experienced attorneys at Weldon & Rothman, PL today for a free case review.