Understanding Pure Comparative Negligence in Personal Injury Cases

If you are in a car accident in St. Petersburg and suffer injuries that max out your personal injury protection coverage, your personal injury lawyer may help you to sue the at-fault party for punitive damages. Punitive damages provide extra compensation for victims whose injuries were caused by the extreme recklessness or negligence of the at-fault party.  This extra compensation can help cover your expenses.

Many drivers in St. Petersburg fight back against these claims, however. Not only do they not want to admit fault, but they also do not want to pay for their negligence. The higher the medical bills and other expenses, the more likely they are to fight back with a personal injury lawyer of their own.

In fact, during a case like this, the defendant may even turn the blame back on you and claim that you are responsible for the accident. With your personal injury lawyer, you can disprove this claim. If the evidence doesn’t disprove the claim, the court may find that neither driver is entirely to blame. Instead, they may determine you both acted in ways that contributed to the accident.

Florida’s Pure Comparative Negligence

Should the court find that two drivers are partially to blame for an accident, Florida’s comparative negligence laws will come into play. This “pure comparative fault” system does not let your level of negligence prevent you from getting the compensation your injuries need. Instead, the fault charged to the claimant is proportionate to the amount awarded in damages. For example, if you are found to be 40% at fault for the crash, you can still recover 60% of your losses from the other party. In this example, if you initially requested $100,000, if you win your case, you will receive $60,000 because you were 40% at fault.

How Fault is Determined in a Personal Injury Case

To determine the percentage of fault for each responsible party, judges examine many different factors. Drivers may contribute to fault by:

  • Speeding
  • Driving recklessly
  • Driving under the influence
  • Texting and driving
  • Running red lights
  • Failing to stop at a stop sign
  • Not using turn signals

Prepare for a Case with a Personal Injury Lawyer at Berkowitz & Myer

The best way to prepare for a personal injury case is by working with a personal injury lawyer at Berkowitz & Myer. Our St. Petersburg firm has been helping clients recover compensation for their injuries for nearly twenty years. Our excellence and passion make us a strong opponent in the courtroom. To schedule a consultation in St. Petersburg, call us today at (727) 344-0123 or contact us online.

Who Is Responsible For Your Child’s Swimming Pool Accident?

In general, property owners are obligated to keep their properties safe for anyone who might visit them. And should they have a swimming pool on their property, that obligation extends to the condition of the pool itself and almost anyone who might use it.

When it comes to swimming pools, property owners may be deemed liable for almost any personal injury involving someone who was allowed to enter the pool. This includes patrons who use a hotel’s pool while they’re staying there as well as guests who swim in the pools at private residences.  In either case, the property owner must, at a minimum, be in full compliance with all the applicable state and local laws and regulations concerning swimming pools, regularly inspect the pool and surrounding area, warn anyone who may use the pool of any known dangers, and fix any unsafe conditions within a reasonable period of time.

Swimming pools are almost always deemed to be an “attractive nuisance”.  This means, among other things, that a property owner’s liability for a pool-related accident – especially one involving a child – may even extend to trespassers on the property.

Pool-Related Personal Injuries

The most common types of pool-related personal injuries are as follows:

  • Drownings and other submission-related injuries;
  • Dive-related injuries;
  • Drain-related injuries; and
  • Slip-and-fall injuries.

Causes of Pool-Related Injuries

Many pool-related personal injuries are the result of one or more foreseeable circumstances, such as the following:

  • Inadequate Supervision: Whenever children are swimming, there should be an adequate number of adults on-site whose primary focus is to oversee the children. These adults should not be consuming alcoholic beverages or distracted by other activities.
  • Inadequate Fence/Barrier Around Pool: Although there are no federal laws regarding pool fencing, many states and local municipalities have developed their own laws and/or regulations.  In Florida, there is a pool fence statute that applies to public-use pools – and another, more recent one that sets fence requirements and standards for residential pools.
  • Faulty Swimming Pool Design Or Construction: A poorly designed – or poorly installed – swimming pool can result in a wide variety of injuries.  This is especially true with respect to the drainage system on a pool.
  • Rough-Housing & Rowdiness: Negligent or reckless behavior in and around pools can cause drownings and other serious injuries.  The person who is responsible for the pool must make clear that such behavior is dangerous – and ensure it does not occur.
  • Pool Toys: These can be fun to have at a pool but if they are used improperly, they can cause serious personal injuries.  Once again, the person who is responsible for the pool must make sure that all pool toys are used in a safe manner.

What To Do If Your Child Has Had A Swimming Pool Accident

If your child has been involved in a swimming pool accident, you may want to consult with an attorney who specializes in personal injury accidents involving swimming pools. To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our specialists, call Berkowitz & Myer at (727) 344-0123 today.

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