When it comes to personal injury and the surrounding legalities of it, one of the main questions that comes to mind is: Who was at fault for the incident or accident that was the cause of the personal injury? The answer to this question isn’t always very clear. There are even times when the victim may be responsible, even in a small part, for the accident. If that’s the case, a victim’s responsibility in an accident will affect that victim’s case. If you’re in that situation, please continue reading to find out how this will affect your case.
Understanding “Fault” in a Personal Injury Case
The word “fault” is used often when discussing personal injury cases. Under this context, it means that someone is responsible for causing harm, in most cases due to carelessness and a certain level of negligence. The at-fault party must pay compensation for any injuries or losses that were caused from that harm, as per Personal Injury Lawyer in St John’s. This amount can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even millions of dollars, especially if a personal injury lawsuit goes to court.
More than One At-Fault Party
Not all personal injury cases are as simple as a single victim and a single at-fault party. There are times where more than one person is at fault. This can become complicated if you, the victim, might have been injured or suffered a loss through negligent activities on your part. Then you and the guilty party will both be considered legally responsible. This becomes a case of “shared-fault.”
If it’s been legally determined that a personal injury case is a shared-fault cases, then different points need to be taken into consideration when protecting your rights to fair compensation for the injuries and losses you have suffered.
Overview of Contributory and Comparative Negligence
The legal terminology used in personal injury cases can be complicated. Generally, shared fault situations take into consideration contributory or comparative negligence.
Contributory negligence means that if you have contributed to your own injury, you cannot hold anyone else responsible for it. Even if you are barely at fault, or have been found to even slightly to have contributed to your own injuries, you will not get any compensation.It’s a harsh and unpopular rule that remains true in a few states.
Comparative negligence considers how much each person is to blame for causing the victim’s (also known as the claimant’s) injuries. The challenge is finding out how much fault belongs to each person.The damages are awarded based on percentages and how much each party is determined to be at fault.
Blame Outside of Court
The above description is what will most often happen if a personal injury case goes to court. Most personal injury claims reach a settlement before trial, often through the insurance process, without ever reaching a court room.
It is, however, important to get a brief understanding of how your state determines compensation in shared fault cases since an insurance adjuster will consider the state’s shared blame rules during negotiation and when settling the value of a claim.