If you were the victim of an accident caused by negligence and multiple parties contributed to your injuries, Florida law allows you to sue all involved. This is because personal injury cases are subject to pure comparative fault when determining who is liable and how much responsibility they have. This system also considers the role you might have played in causing your injuries, so it’s important to speak with a knowledgeable Lake County attorney about your situation.
At Jordan Law, we provide a free initial consultation to evaluate your case and assist in determining who is at fault. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for more than one party to share in negligent circumstances that hurt others. Read on to learn how an injury claim involving multiple defendants works in Florida.
A Quick Overview of Pure Comparative Fault Law in Florida
If you were involved in a car accident that involved multiple vehicles or slipped and fell over a contractor’s extension cord at an amusement park, pure comparative fault would apply to all being held liable. However, in the case of a multi-car pile-up, each party gets assigned a percentage of fault. If you didn’t contribute to the accident, your portion would obviously be zero, but for the two or three other drivers that struck you, their actions would be scrutinized and a percentage of fault assigned.
In the amusement park scenario, let’s say that while the contractor’s extension cord should have been appropriately marked and protected, you were walking in a clearly marked restricted area. A court may determine this means you contributed 20% to your injuries, while the contractor is liable for 40%. Let’s also say that the amusement park company knew he wasn’t taking care to prevent an accident and ignored his leaving the cord out. The court may assign them the remaining 40% of liability. This means that if you were awarded $250,000 in compensation, It would be reduced by the 20% you are responsible for according to Florida law.
One of the issues with suing multiple parties for your accident injuries and damages is that the defendants may litigate between each other over the portion of fault the court assigns them. To best deal with this scenario, hiring a qualified Lake County personal injury attorney will prove invaluable in negotiating with and taking action against these parties.
Pure Several Liability in Florida
Florida has used pure several liability for personal injury cases where multiple defendants are being sued. This system requires you to pursue each defendant separately for the percentage of fault they are responsible for. Under this law, you cannot expect one of several defendants to pay for all the damages you’ve suffered.
As mentioned earlier, this can get tricky because it’s rare that multiple defendants in a personal injury case will accept the percentage of fault they are liable to compensate. Because they all want to pay as little as possible, it can create a contentious settlement negotiation and require you to go to trial to resolve the matter.
Without an attorney to represent your best interests and aggressively pursue the defendants, liable parties in your case may further escalate the situation by asserting other responsible parties are missing in the lawsuit. This reality underscores the importance of working with a highly qualified injury lawyer. They will be able to identify all potential defendants that should or shouldn’t be part of your legal action.
Seek Legal Advice from the Personal Injury Attorneys of Jordan Law
To successfully sue multiple parties in your accident case, you need help. The process of gathering evidence alone can be overwhelming, but an attorney with staff and resources at their disposal can handle this for you. They will also be more thorough and use their in-depth knowledge of accident and liability law to ensure all necessary defendants are named in your suit.
If you or a loved one are currently struggling to get your injuries and damages compensated, don’t hesitate to reach out to Jordan Law. We have years of experience assisting accident victims throughout Central Florida and have the expertise you need to get a satisfactory settlement or jury award.
Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation and learn more about what rights you have to compensation.