You can seek compensation for your losses when you suffer a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence. However, if you were also partially responsible for the accident, your compensation may be affected by the concept of comparative negligence.
Such legal doctrine reduces the damages you can recover proportionally to your level of fault in the accident. Understanding comparative negligence is crucial when pursuing a personal injury claim.
It will be helpful for you to know how comparative negligence works and its impact on your claim. You can also consider contacting brianazemikalaw.com for legal assistance in your personal injury case.
Understanding how comparative negligence can affect your personal injury claim:
- Amount of compensation
In comparative negligence, a plaintiff’s compensation is directly affected by the percentage of their fault. If the plaintiff is found to be partially at fault, their compensation will be reduced proportionately.
For example, if the plaintiff is found to be 30% at fault and the total compensation awarded is $100,000, they will only receive $70,000. Understanding how comparative negligence works and working with an experienced personal injury attorney is crucial to ensure you receive the maximum compensation possible.
- Percentage of fault
In a comparative negligence system, the percentage of fault assigned to each party involved in the accident directly affects the compensation that can be recovered. The higher the percentage of fault assigned to the injured party, the less compensation they can recover.
On the other hand, if the other party is assigned a higher percentage of fault, the injured party may recover a higher amount of compensation.
- Used as a defense
Comparative negligence can also be used as a defense by the defendant in a personal injury claim. If the plaintiff is found to be partially at fault for the accident, the defendant’s liability may be reduced or eliminated.
The defendant’s attorney may argue that the plaintiff’s actions were the primary cause of the accident rather than the defendant’s negligence. The plaintiff needs to have a strong case and evidence to support their claim to minimize the impact of comparative negligence as a defense.
- Role of insurance companies
Comparative negligence is often used as a defense by the defendant in a personal injury claim. If the defendant can prove that the plaintiff was partially responsible for their injuries, compensation may be reduced accordingly.
In states that follow a pure comparative negligence system, the plaintiff can still recover damages even if they were found to be 99% at fault for the accident. However, in states that follow a modified comparative negligence system, the plaintiff may be barred from recovering any damages if they were found to be more than 50% or 51% at fault.