For example, a pedestrian is struck by a drunk driver. The driver may well be liable, but if the pedestrian was not using caution to cross safely in a designated crosswalk, he may be found to have committed contributory negligence. The way this affects a case varies greatly from state-to-state.
Florida, thankfully, has one of the more plaintiff-friendly interpretations. Our courts use a model called “pure comparative fault.” What that means, per F.S. 768.81(2) is that if a plaintiff is at-fault, that percentage is going to diminish proportionately the amount to which plaintiff is entitled to recovery. However, unlike many states, plaintiffs can recover damages so long as their own fault is less than 100 percent. So a person who is 99 percent at-fault for their own injuries can still recover 1 percent of the damages from the other liable party. Continue reading →