In 2016, more than 171,000 Florida residents filed legal petitions with the state’s Circuit Civil Division. If you or a loved one has been injured or has suffered significant property damage through the careless actions of a third party, a personal injury law firm Hillsborough County may be able to help you protect your rights in the civil courts and get the compensation you deserve.

What Is a Civil Action?

Civil law is a body of laws that offers legal remedies for disputes between private individuals. Often such disputes arise over claims that one party was derelict or negligent in the duty of care he or she owed to the other party. A civil action is not a criminal prosecution.

Florida has adopted a pure comparative fault standard, which means that if the negligence of two parties caused injuries or property damage, liability is apportioned between those two parties. This is true even when one of the two parties is the plaintiff bringing the civil action. If your own reckless behavior was responsible for 60 percent of an accident, you may still be able to recover 40 percent of your damages from the other party, but you will not be able to recover more than 40 percent.

What Types of Civil Actions May Be Brought in Florida?

Florida’s Circuit Civil Division handles the following types of cases:

• Professional malpractice and product liability: Malpractice occurs when the incompetence of a professional causes injury to a client.

• Motor vehicle accidents and other types of negligence. This category also includes environmental torts in which plaintiffs allege injuries precipitated by air pollution or water contamination.

• Contracts and indebtedness. One party’s failure to carry out the terms of a contract is referred to as a “breach.”

• Other business disputes: Business disputes that do not arise from contract breaches per se include disputes over intellectual property, antitrust actions and disagreements over indemnification.

• Other: This category is small and exists as a catchall for civil torts that don’t fit neatly into the preceding four categories. A dispute over eminent domain, for example, might be classified within this category.