Many lawsuits involving
personal injury are sought on the grounds of
negligence–that the party at fault could have prevented the
accident by acting in a reasonable manner. In many cases, the fault is often shared
between the person who was injured and the person on the receiving end
of the lawsuit. The blame does not have to be split evenly, and there
are few methods and considerations when determining fault.
An individual’s level of fault in contributing to personal injuries
is considered contributory negligence and may lessen the amount of compensation
available in a lawsuit because there was something the individual could
have done to not cause the incident. While you are likely to still receive
some compensation if the other party was not acting responsibly, it is
important to understand the significance of contributory negligence and
more modern comparative negligence.
Contributory negligence is traditional and used to mean that a person who
was found even slightly negligent in causing his own injuries was barred
from receiving any compensation for injuries. This means that even in
car accidents, if there was a 10% level of fault attributed to the injured driver they
would not be able to claim that the other driver should pay for the injuries.
This is known today as “pure” contributory negligence and
is rarely applicable. This is why most courts in states do not assume
that fault is an all-or-nothing compensation and have decided not to punish
the injured even if they were slightly at fault.
You probably are already familiar with comparative negligence and just
don’t know it. Under the rules of comparative negligence a person
can recover in proportion to the part of the accident they are responsible
for. For example, if a person was 80% at fault for apersonal injury could still recover 20% from another negligent defendant. There are also
certain cases that use a modified form of comparative negligence to state
that only those who are at less fault than others in causing their own
injuries can take the other party to trial. This is modified comparative
negligence and means that the injured party can only seek recovery if
they were responsible for less than 50% of their injuries.
If you have other questions regarding injury negligence and how to claim
compensation from the party you believe to be at fault make sure to call
the Kyle Law Firm today so we can discuss the best options for seeking
recovery and proving you have the minimal responsibility.