I'm Partially at Fault in a Car Accident: Can I Still File a Lawsuit? By Moody Law | Personal Injury Attorneys on May 15, 2023

Upset drivers next to crashed cars

Whether emotionally, financially, or medically, recovering from a car accident — regardless of who or what caused it — can feel like an uphill battle. Those who find themselves in the aftermath of an accident that they know they are at fault for, even partially, can make matters seem even worse. Some may believe that being partially at fault in a car accident strips them of any right to take legal action against another party and receive any kind of compensation. However, our car accident lawyers serving Plant CityLakeland, Winter Haven, Tampa, FL, and beyond are here to assure you; that isn’t true.

Here’s what you need to know about filing a lawsuit even if you are partially at fault in a car accident:

Florida’s Modified Comparative Negligence Laws: What You Need to Know

Each state has its own method of determining how to compare negligence after a personal injury or auto accident claim occurs. In March of 2023, Florida Governor Ron Desantis signed HB 837 into law. This wide-changing tort reform made several changes, including transitioning the Sunshine State from a “pure comparative negligence” system to a “modified comparative negligence” one.

What Is Modified Comparative Negligence?

Under modified comparative negligence, individuals cannot collect compensation recovery if they are found to be more than 50% responsible for their own injuries. If they are found to be less than 50% responsible, they can recover compensation, although it may not be complete compensation. It is worth noting that these changes do not apply to actions based on medical negligence.

How Did It Used to Work?

Under a pure comparative negligence system, individuals would be able to recover compensation even if they were found to be 99% responsible for the car accident. Under both symptoms, an individual would receive reduced compensation depending on how “at fault” they were found to be.

An Example of Florida’s Modified Comparative Negligence Law

Kelly is driving over the speed limit on her way to the store. Conditions are rainy and she doesn’t have her lights on. Mark is driving on a road perpendicular to the one Kelly is on and arrives at their intersection. He looks both ways, doesn’t see any oncoming traffic, and decides to turn right. Moments later, Kelly collides with Mark’s vehicle.

This simplistic example illustrates an accident where both parties are at fault to some degree; Kelly was speeding with her lights off and Mark pulled out into Kelly’s right of way. If this was brought to court, a judge or jury would need to assess each party’s percentage of fault given more details about the circumstances (how over the speed limit Kelly was driving, how long Mark stopped before turning, etc.).

Let’s say Kelly is found to be 70% at fault. Under pure comparative negligence, her recovery would be reduced by 70%, but she could still recover 30% of the damages. Now, under modified comparative negligence law, Kelly would be barred from recovering anything.

Do You Believe You’re Partially At Fault for a Car Accident? Contact Us

If you were involved in a car accident and believe you may be partially at fault, it’s critical to partner up with seasoned attorneys who will work with you to get a fair ruling. Under Florida’s modified comparative negligence law, you need a team that will fight tooth and nail to hold other parties fairly accountable — even if you believe the accident was partly on you.

For more information or to request a consultation at one of our offices in Lakeland, Bartow, or Tampa, FL, reach out to us today.

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Daniel D. Moody, J.D., B.C.S.

Moody Law, P.A.

Moody Law was founded by Daniel D. Moody for the sole and exclusive purpose of representing the injured. Our main office is centrally located next to the Polk County Courthouse in Bartow, FL, serving Lakeland, Winter Haven, and all the other communities of Polk County.  Some of Mr. Moody’s honors, memberships, and associations include:

  • The Florida Bar Board Certification – Civil Trial Specialist
  • AV PREEMINENT Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Ratings
  • Life-member Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Best Attorneys of America – Rue Rating Lifetime Charter Member
  • National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers

To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, contact us online or call (863) 733-9090.

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“Our experience with Moody Law has been awesome, from the first day of calling and talking with the front desk staff and meeting with everyone through the whole process, everyone has been helpful in helping us to resolve this matter.”

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