All too often, individuals who have suffered injuries in accidents on the road, at work, while shopping, and while minding their own business, are under the impression that no legal opportunities for recourse are applicable to their situation. In truth, each state’s laws protect injury victims in a myriad of ways and allow for many to pursue compensation as a result of the harm they have suffered.
This means that if you were recently injured in an accident, you should seriously consider scheduling a free legal consultation with a local personal injury attorney. Even if you strongly suspect that you are not entitled to compensation – possibly because you were partially to blame for your circumstances – you may remain in a position to seek significant compensation at this time.
Differences in State Law
As an experienced accident injury lawyer – including those who practice at Yearin Law Office – can confirm, states take different approaches when it comes to the issue of comparative liability. Meaning that if you were partially to blame for your injurious circumstances, your ability to seek compensation is dependent upon where you live.
A tiny handful of states effectively bar personal injury victims from seeking compensation – except under the narrowest of circumstances – if they contributed to the causes of their harm to any degree. Yet, this approach is very much the exception to the rules. Most states afford accident injury victims the ability to seek compensation for their harm, as long as those victims were not more than 50 percent to blame for their circumstances.
Another minority share of states – including California, Florida, and Arizona – are known as pure comparative negligence states. The pure comparative negligence approach allows injury victims to sue for personal injury damages regardless of what percentage of liability is assigned to the victim and what percentage of liability is assigned to each defendant named in a lawsuit.
How Partial Fault Affects Compensation Awards
With few exceptions, accident injury victims must prove that each defendant (individual, company, or other legal entity) named in their case directly contributed to the causes of their physical harm as a result of negligent, reckless, or intentional actions or inaction. Once the causes of an accident have been accurately identified, the percentages of fault tied to that causation can be determined and the total value of your c
For example, say that you were injured in an auto accident. You were partially to blame because you were briefly distracted right before impact. An auto parts manufacturer was partially to blame as a result of defects in your car’s braking system and a fellow motorist was partially to blame because they ran a red light before slamming into your vehicle. You are assigned 10% of the blame, the auto parts manufacturer is assigned 15%, and the other motorist is assigned 75%. If the value of your harm is $100,000 and every party is responsible for their share of that harm, you’d be empowered to seek $75,000 from one party, $15,000 from another, and be left holding the bill for the remaining $10,000 due to your own partial liability.