There are many complexities that make up a personal injury case, especially when it comes to comparative negligence. Even though the other person was mainly responsible for causing your injury, comparative negligence can end up reducing the compensation that you can potentially receive. Here are a few common questions about comparative negligence.
What Exactly Is Comparative Negligence?
It's possible that the defendant in a personal injury case is not completely at fault, and that the plaintiff holds some responsibility. If the plaintiff is found to hold a percentage of fault in a comparative negligence case, their compensation will then be reduced by that percentage of fault.
Be aware that comparative negligence is defined as either pure or modified negligence. In states with pure negligence laws, the plaintiff will have their compensation reduced by the percentage of fault that they hold. For example, if the plaintiff is found to be 25% responsible, they will receive 75% of their compensation.
There are states that have modified comparative negligence. This only allows the damage to be reduced if the plaintiff holds the majority of the responsibility for causing the accident. Having a small percentage of fault means that you can still receive full compensation.
Does Comparative Negligence Matter In Mediation?
One of the great things about mediation is that you have full control over the outcome of your lawsuit. You and your lawyer will work with the insurance provider of the defendant, and hopefully come to an agreement that keeps you out of court. It's very possible that you can negotiate a settlement that is 100% of what you are asking for, even if you are found to be partially responsible with modified negligence laws.
Things get more complicated if your case ends up going to trial. You will lose control over accepting a settlement offer, and the judge or jury will be the ones to decide how much fault you hold in the injury case. You may end up getting a lower settlement when going to trial due to comparative negligence.
How Can You Protect Yourself From Comparative Negligence?
If you end up with a serious injury where you may potentially hold partial fault, you should work with a lawyer to assist with your case. They are going to put up the best possible defense to prove that you do not hold any fault in the accident, which will help you maximize your compensation.
To learn more, contact a company like Williams & Swee.