What Is Considered Negligence in a Florida Personal Injury Case?

Floridians suffer injuries every day on account of others but likely do not know what constitutes negligence in a legal sense. While you might have a common understanding of negligence, proving negligence in a lawsuit requires proving several key elements.

In order to recover compensation in a Florida personal injury case for your injuries you will need to show that the other acted negligently. In a lawsuit, this means showing that the other party had a duty of care that they breached. It will also mean showing that the breach directly caused your injuries, which can be valued in financial and non-financial terms. However, you own negligence could also play a crucial role in your case if your contributed to causing an accident.

For a free case assessment with our South Florida personal injury attorneys, contact the Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. at (954) 751-4258 today.

Determining Negligence in a Florida Personal Injury Case

In Florida personal injury cases, negligence plays a central role in determining liability and compensation. Negligence, in the context of Florida law, refers to the failure of a person or entity to exercise reasonable care, resulting in harm to another party. By consulting our Boca Raton personal injury attorneys, you can determine if you have a viable negligence claim. The various elements of negligence that apply to personal injury cases in Florida include duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Each of the following elements must be satisfied in order to recover compensation in a Florida personal injury lawsuit:

Duty of Care

In a personal injury case, the defendant must have owed a legal duty of care to the person injured. This duty can arise from various relationships, such as a driver’s responsibility to follow traffic laws or a property owner’s obligation to maintain safe premises. This usually means that the defendant had control over the mechanism that injured you and was responsible for acting safely. Duty of care can typically be inferred from the circumstances surrounding a particular case.

Breach of Duty

You must also prove that the defendant breached this duty of care through their actions or inactions. For example, a driver who runs a red light or a store owner who fails to clean up a spill on the floor. In simple terms, breach is the physical act of negligence that brings about the accident and subsequent injuries.


Once the previous two elements have been established, you must demonstrate that the defendant’s breach of duty directly caused your injuries. This means showing that the accident would not have occurred if the defendant had exercised reasonable care. If you have been injured in an accident prior to your current one or are suffering from a condition that affects the same bodily areas as the one injured now, it is important to address the matter to show that your current injuries are not caused by those. In most cases, your doctor or a medical expert can testify that your current injuries are separate from conditions you suffered from previously.


Finally, you must provide evidence of the actual harm or losses you sustained as a result of the defendant’s negligence. Most people tend to think of their financial losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. However, you can claim non-economic losses caused by your accident, as well. This is commonly known as pain and suffering. These subjective damages usually include mental distress, loss of the enjoyment of life from changes in your lifestyle, humiliation, and the physical pain you have to live with even after your injuries heal.

If you have satisfied all four elements of negligence, you will be very close to recovering compensation in your Florida personal injury lawsuit. However, the individual that injured you can assert defenses that could prevent you from recovering or lower the amount of compensation you are awarded.

Defenses Against Negligence Claims and Florida’s Comparative Negligence Rule

Defenses against negligence claims in Florida typically include asserting that you contributed to your own injuries. This is known as “contributory negligence.” Florida used to have a more lax contributory negligence rule that was beneficial to plaintiffs, but recent changes to the law have now made things more difficult.

In the past, accident victims could still receive compensation even if they shared some responsibility for the incident. However, their award would be decreased in proportion to their level of fault. Now, victims will be unable to obtain compensation if they are deemed more than 50% at fault. For instance, if you are found to be 51% at fault, and the other driver is found to be 49% at fault, you will not receive any compensation for your losses. However, if both drivers share equal responsibility or a 50/50 split, you can receive compensation for half of the damages sustained. Unfortunately, this means that you will be on the hook for the percentage of losses you were found to have contributed to.

Florida’s Time Limit to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Florida’s contributory negligence rule is not the only law to have changed that can significantly affect your case. In a personal injury case, plaintiffs now have far less time to file their lawsuits than before. A significant amendment was made to Florida’s “statute of limitations,” which determines the period within which a lawsuit must be filed. Previously, victims of a personal injury were given up to four years to file their case. However, that rule has been modified, cutting the time frame in half, which means that victims now have only two years to initiate their lawsuits in Florida.

It is important to act promptly after suffering a personal injury on account of another’s actions, as time is crucial. While it might not be necessary to file a lawsuit for your injuries, it still takes considerable time to gather evidence and locate witnesses, which is necessary if you are only filing an insurance claim. If you do end up needing to file a lawsuit and it is not filed within this timeframe, the defense attorney will request that the court dismiss your case, which would, in all likelihood, be granted.

How the Serious Injury Threshold Can Limit Your Right to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Florida

If you are planning to file a personal injury lawsuit in Florida, it is important to show that your injuries fall under one of the “serious injuries” categories outlined in Florida Statute § 627.737(2). To do this, you must show that you have experienced significant or long-lasting loss of bodily functions or have sustained a permanent injury. Death, significant scarring, and disfigurement will also be considered serious injuries for the purposes of filing a lawsuit. However, keep in mind that insurance companies will almost always try to argue that your injuries are not severe enough to warrant a lawsuit. By understanding this rule, you can determine whether your injuries are sufficient to file your lawsuit. You cannot file a lawsuit in Florida without suffering a serious injury.

Our Florida Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help

Contact the Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. today at (954) 751-4258 for a free case assessment with our Ft. Lauderdale personal injury lawyers.

Client Testimonials

“…the settlement I received was much higher than anticipated”

Fuchs was my car accident attorney and was very responsive from the first call. I had medical care the next day and the whole process was smooth. They handled everything with the insurance companies and coordinated all of the necessary medical information. It was a long process and in the end the settlement I received was much higher than anticipated I am more than happy and grateful for the outcome.

Sean O.
Google Review
“Not only did I get the medical attention I needed but I was compensated handsomely.”

It’s been a long bumpy road to recovery but with David and his office’s help, we finally got it done! Through a great network of professionals, David Fuchs makes a good experience out of what could’ve been quite a headache. Not only did I get the medical attention I needed but I was compensated handsomely. Thank you!

Giovanni G.
Google Review
“…they didn’t settle for anything and my boyfriend and I got what we deserved.”

I got in an accident in December 2021 when everyone was short staffed and insurance companies was not responsive. My boyfriend reached out to David F. and what a life changing experience. We had the pleasure of having all our worries handed to professional help. They worked diligently on our case, answered questions when asked and kept us updated on changes. More importantly they didn’t settle for anything and my boyfriend and I got what we deserved. I have dealt with others in the past but David got me the most according to the facts presented and never backed down when the insurance companies tried to make us settle for less. Thank you David, Jessica and the team for all your effort and hard work. I will recommend them to family and friends. [They’re] the best in town!

Sheila N.
Google Review
“Best lawyer in Broward County”
Evans P.
Google Review
“Mr. Fuchs and his staff were very helpful.”

I highly recommend Law offices of David Fuchs. Mr. Fuchs and his staff were very helpful. The case was handled in a timely manner and I was always informed if there were any changes or updates with my case.

Velouse G.
Google Review
“Mr. Fuchs is one of the hardest working attorneys that I know.”

Mr. Fuchs is one of the hardest working attorneys that I know. He is really good at what he does and puts 110% in you case. I have been using him for 19 years now and refer all my friends to him. I can leave him alone with my case and not call him all the time. I know he is working hard in my case. When he has any information he calls me and we go from there. There are not a lot of attorneys I can do that with! If you have any Personal Injuries please do call him. You won’t be disappointed!!

Libby E.
Google Review
“I would definitely refer to this firm as the go-to Florida personal injury gurus.”

At first I was afraid…I was petrified! I truly was! But the extensive knowledge, patience and professionalism I received brought me not only such peace and assurance that I was in good hands, but we got through my case like shining stars! David made sure I understood exactly what, when, where, why and [answered] whatever question I had. I would definitely refer to this firm as the go-to Florida personal injury gurus.

Donna M.
Google Review
“They have a wonderful team.”

…took care of my well-being [and were] very informative about my situation. [T]hey were on the ball when it came down to settling…I highly recommend David.

Nicholas G.
Google Review
“My experience with David Fuchs was awesome.”

I got a really good return… thank you David Fuchs and staff for being so helpful and working so hard to help us, you are appreciated.

Yvette W.
Google Review
“This is a great law office.”

The David I Fuchs law office is a group of excellent people that helped to their fullest potential. They treated me with respect and I really appreciate that. This is a great law office.

Jonathan Z.
Google Review
“Never did I imagine myself getting into an accident.”

It has been an unexpected journey since stepping foot in Florida. Never did I imagine myself getting into an accident. I just want to thank the staff and all the support. The Therapy the doctors; you guys were awesome and made me feel better in my situation. This the first time I ever experience such a thing but I’m blessed , thankful and behind it all DAVID FUCHS who made it happen for me.

Sade P.
Google Review
“They helped tremendously!”

I would totally recommend David to everyone. They’re extremely professional and work in a timely manner. They helped tremendously!

A Boone
Google Review
“I highly recommend this man.”

A good man knows, his law 35 years experience. Will get the job done and help you and your family get compensated for you pain and damages. I highly recommend this man. I want to revisit my review and say that Mr. Fuchs always picks up his phone and answer any questions that may pertain to my case. Thank you, David.

N. Hit
Google Review
“He was able to settle my case with little to no trouble and did so in a very professional manner.”

David Fuchs was my car accident attorney. He was able to settle my case with little to no trouble and did so in a very professional manner. I would highly recommend him to others.

Samantha D.
Google Review
“…all went good and successful. thank you so much for all your help.”

I got into an accident for the first time and I didn’t know what do or how things works, but I was lucky to find a professional and helpful people to guide through this experience.
They did take care of my case all went good and successful thank you so much for all your help.

Karen G.
Google Review
“Very professional. Had no problems with communication”
Zuberi L.
Google Review
“He was there every time I called and got me a great settlement.”

I was in a car accident and looking for a professional, caring attorney.I was fortunate to find Mr. Fuchs, who helped me through the whole process. He was there every time I called and got me a great settlement.

Joan K.
Google Review
“My settlement was fast, fair and professionally handled.”

Had a car accident and needed an advocate to communicate my concerns through my insurance provider. The law office of David Fuchs, was efficient and thorough. My settlement was fast, fair and professionally handled. Would highly recommend giving this office a call if you need legal assistance.

Willie M.
Google Review
“A+++++ recommended.”

I want to thank the office of David Fuch’s. A+++++ recommended.

J. Hernandez
Google Review
“I could not have asked for a better team by my side.”

They were very helpful. I could not have asked for a better team by my side.

S. Rodriguez
Google Review
“They got me my settlement pretty quickly and worked hard on my case for me.”

I was in an accident mid last year and Mr. Fuchs handled my case and his case manager[s] Yessi and Jessica were very informative as to the process. They got me my settlement pretty quickly and worked hard on my case for me. Mr. Fuchs was extremely knowledgeable and informed me of everything that would happen in my case. I will recommend this firm to my family and friends and i will be using their services in future if need be.

Pastor D.
Google Review