Guide on Comparative Negligence in Florida
In Florida, law recognizes that every person has a duty to exercise due care for his own safety. Inherent in the duty of every person to exercise due care for his own safety is the essential element that the person knows and appreciate the probable consequences of his action or inaction.
How is Negligence Defined in Florida?To establish negligence in Florida, a plaintiff must show that: (1) the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff; (2) the defendant breached the duty; (3) the breach was the actual and proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries; and (4) as a result the plaintiff suffered damages. A duty is the obligation to protect another against unreasonable risk of injury. A duty is breached when the defendant fails to meet such obligation. There are 2 types of causation, which is a close causal connection between the action and the injury. Damages to the plaintiff are the loss suffered.
How Does Comparitive Negligence Work in Florida?In Florida, law recognizes that every person has a duty to exercise due care for his own safety. Inherent in the duty of every person to exercise due care for his own safety is the essential element that the person knows and appreciate the probable consequences of his action or inaction. In other words, a person may be comparatively negligent if he should have known of the injurious consequences of his actions or inaction. Thus, the question is one of foreseeability. In Florida, courts examine foreseeability in the framework of comparative negligence as follows: Foreseeable consequences are those which a person by prudent human foresight can be expected to anticipate as likely to result from an act, because they happen so frequently from the commission of such act that in the field of human experience they may be expected to happen again. Although the actual harm that results may be seen as not foreseeable, it is not necessary that the tortfeasor be able to foresee the exact nature and extent of the injuries in the precise manner in which they occur; rather, all that is necessary is that the tortfeasor be able to foresee some injury as likely to result in some manner as a consequence of his negligence. When deciding the issue whether an individual has exercised due care for his own safety, his physical characteristics and all of the surrounding circumstances should be considered.