One of the biggest hurdles when dealing with a personal injury case is determining what percentage of fault should be assigned to each party. This essentially splits the blame and determines how much compensation the injured party actually deserves. While there are cases where sole responsibility lies with one person, most cases show the liability lies in varying degrees with both parties. Determining how much blame each person is responsible for is the first step in calculating the amount of compensation the injured party will receive.
The concept of comparative negligence is based on the premise that both parties play a role in contributing to the amount of negligence involved in causing the accident. The amount of compensation received by the injured party will be reduced by the percentage of negligence attributed to them. This is one of the most common concepts in personal injury law and it is used to some degree in almost every state in the country.
There are four states that follow the contributory negligence concept. They are Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia. The District of Columbia goes by this rule as well but offers exceptions if the accident involves bicycles or pedestrians. With contributory negligence, the injured party will receive nothing if they are even one percent at fault for the accident. One small misstep can cost them their entire case.
Splitting the Difference
The idea of comparative thought was established to provide accurate compensation when compared to the determined amount of actual negligence. This allows a person who is 95% guilty to file a personal injury claim. They will only receive compensation for the percentage of damages caused by the other party. If they are filing for $100,000, and it is proven that they bear 95% of the guilt, they will only receive $5,000. Since the other party is only five percent negligent, they will only owe five percent of the damages. There is also a 50% bar rule that states that anyone who bears 50% of the blame for an accident can not claim damages and is ineligible for compensation.
Working With a Reputable Attorney
Every personal injury case has its own twists and turns. It’s important that you work with a reputable attorney who can guide you through the legal process. They will understand how the comparative and contributory concepts apply to you and will be able to aggressively defend your case. Negotiating your position isn’t something you should try and do on your own. With a trusted attorney by your side, your voice will be heard, and you will receive the compensation you deserve.
The legal professionals at Killian Law can help you prove your case and get the compensation you deserve even if the accident is partially your fault. They have many years of experience and understand that negligence can be proven in many ways. Choosing the right attorney involves finding a firm that continually puts your best interests first. Read more exciting articles on Tech new master