If you’ve been involved in an accident, sometimes fault can be difficult to prove. Whether a car accident, a slip and fall accident, medical malpractice, a workplace accident, or any other personal injury case, injuries and/or property damages may result. In most cases, the injured party is entitled to claim compensation for damages from the at-fault party. If you are partially at fault for the accident, however, the situation becomes complicated. You may still be entitled to compensation for your injuries or damages, but this will likely depend on the laws of the state where the accident occurred, as well as the part you played in the accident. For this reason, it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer in the area to determine the options for your case.
After an accident occurs, investigators will usually determine fault and negligence. Depending on the situation, a person or entity has a certain duty to maintain safety and prevent dangers. When this duty is breached, the person or entity can be blamed for negligence. A successful personal injury case requires proof that negligence occurred and that negligence was the cause of the accident that resulted in injuries. In some cases, many parties including the injured party can be accused of negligence.
The injured party also had a duty to act reasonably, so if failure to do so contributed to the accident, then negligence can possible be proven. For example, if you were speeding when another car hit you, or if you were running when you tripped over a loose floor board, then you may be considered partially responsible for the accident and the injuries that resulted.
Comparative negligence considers every parties responsibility in an accident to determine fault and damages to be recovered. Most states have adopted some form of comparative negligence. The following are the two main approaches of comparative negligence.
- Pure Comparative Negligence: Damages from the accident are totaled then reduced to reflect the injured party’s fault in the accident. This means that if the injured party was 30 percent responsible for the accident, then they can only recover 70 percent of the damages.
- Modified Comparative Negligence: The injured party can only recover damages if they were less than 50 percent responsible for the accident. If they are equally or more responsible, they are unable to recover damages. Majority of states follow this approach.
Contributory negligence prevents an injured party from claiming damages if they contributed to the accident in any way. This means that if a plaintiff is found to be even 1 percent responsible for the accident, they are unable to recover any damages. Alabama, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. are the only jurisdictions that use this approach.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you make a personal injury claim against a party you believe to be responsible for the accident, their lawyer will likely take the necessary measures to protect the defendant, including proving any part you may have had in the accident. This can hurt your case and your chances of receiving a fair compensation. It’s important to contact a person injury lawyer such as the Car accident lawyer Memphis, TN locals turn to who can help review your situation and determine the potential for you case. Having experienced legal representation can improve your chances of receiving the necessary compensation and ensure your rights are protected.
Thanks to authors at Patterson Bray for their insight into Personal Injury Law.