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Florida Negligence Laws

The definition of negligence is failing to exercise the degree of reasonable care expected of someone in order to minimize the risk of harm to another person. It serves as the legal basis for many personal injury cases, including car accidents, slip and falls, and medical malpractice. For example, a customer may sure a store for negligence if he or she is electrocuted by a freezer that the store knew was malfunctioning and injuring people. In that case, the store had a duty to maintain a reasonably safe frozen food aisle for customers and workers. Basic sections of Florida negligence laws are discussed in the article below.


Code Section The laws governing negligence in Florida are found in Chapter 768 of the Florida Statutes.
Damages Damages are compensation provided to a plaintiff (person filing a lawsuit) for harm or injury suffered as a result of another’s negligence. The amount of damages a plaintiff may recover depends on the circumstances of the case, including the negligence committed, the injury suffered, and the identity of the defendant.
Comparative Negligence If a plaintiff is partially at fault for an accident in which he or she suffers harm, that person’s recovery of damages will be reduced. Any contributory fault chargeable to the plaintiff diminishes economic and not-economic damages proportionate to the amount of that person’s fault, but it does not completely prevent the plaintiff from recovering damages (section 768.81).
Contribution Among Tortfeasors When more than one tortfeasor (person who acts negligently) is responsible for causing injury or damage to another, generally all are must pay damages even if a judgment has not been entered against every responsible party. A defendant has a right of contribution from other tortfeasors if he or she has paid more than his or her share of common liability (section 768.31).
Time Limits There are time limits for filing lawsuits based on negligence, which are called statutes of limitations. These statutes of limitations generally vary depending on the type of negligence alleged in a particular case.

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