Understanding Comparative Negligence in Personal Injury Cases

In the world of personal injury law in Orlando, one term that often comes up is “comparative negligence.” While it may sound complex, it’s a crucial concept to understand if you’ve been involved in an accident where fault is shared. In this article, we’ll break down the idea of comparative negligence and how it can impact personal injury cases in Orlando.

What Is Comparative Negligence?

Comparative negligence is a legal principle used in personal injury cases to determine each party’s degree of fault or negligence in an accident. Florida follows a “pure comparative negligence” system, which means that even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you can still pursue a claim for damages. However, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you.

How Does It Work?

Let’s illustrate this with an example. Imagine you were involved in a car accident, and the court determines that the total damages amount to $10,000. If the court finds that you were 20% at fault for the accident, your compensation would be reduced by 20%, leaving you with $8,000.

Why Is Comparative Negligence Important?

Understanding comparative negligence is essential for several reasons:

Shared Responsibility

In many accidents, fault is not solely attributed to one party. Comparative negligence recognizes that multiple parties can contribute to an accident, and it ensures that each party is held accountable for their share of responsibility.

Protects Your Rights

Even if you believe you may have played a part in the accident, you still have the right to seek compensation for your injuries and losses. The amount you receive may be reduced, but you are not barred from pursuing a claim.

Fair Compensation

Comparative negligence promotes fairness by apportioning liability based on each party’s level of fault. This ensures that you receive compensation proportionate to your degree of responsibility for the accident.

Legal Strategy

Your attorney will consider comparative negligence when building your case. They will work to minimize the percentage of fault assigned to you and maximize your potential compensation.

How Can You Protect Your Claim?

To protect your personal injury claim in Orlando, consider the following:

  • Document the Accident: Gather evidence, witness statements, and photographs to support your version of events.
  • Consult an Attorney: Seek legal representation from a skilled personal injury attorney who can assess your case and navigate the complexities of comparative negligence.
  • Avoid Making Statements: Be cautious when discussing the accident, especially with insurance companies. Avoid admitting fault without consulting your attorney.
  • Keep Records: Maintain records of all medical treatments, expenses, and losses related to the accident.


Comparative negligence is a fundamental aspect of personal injury law in Orlando. Understanding how it works and how it can impact your case is essential when pursuing compensation for injuries and losses. With the right legal guidance, you can navigate the complexities of comparative negligence and work towards a fair resolution of your personal injury claim.