Victims of negligence may have been partially to blame for the situation that lead to their accident. When the victim is partially to blame, compensation is typically reduced to reflect this shared responsibility. It may be possible for the court to decide that the victim will not be awarded any compensation, so it is important to consult a personal injury lawyer to get the compensation that is needed and deserved to pay for medical bills, lost wages and other losses.
What is Comparative Negligence?
Comparative negligence involves a situation in which the victim can be considered partially responsible for their injuries. While the negligent party is considered to hold the majority of responsibility for the injuries sustained by the victim, the victim’s role in the situation is considered when the civil lawsuit goes to court.
Most courts will try to determine what percentage of fault the victim has in order to properly reduce compensation according to this responsibility. For example, assume that a case of negligence involved injuries that entitled the victim to compensation including damages valued at $100,000. If the victim is found to have 20 percent of the responsibility due to their own negligence in the situation, their award will be reduced to $80,000.
Examples of Comparative Negligence
Imagine a situation in which a driver is speeding on the road when a second driver swerves into their lane without using a turn signal. Damage done to the first driver’s vehicle and injuries sustained will be due to the inability of the second driver to use a turn signal, but it may be determined that the first driver would have been able to avoid an accident if he had been driving the speed limit. The first driver is therefore partially responsible for injuries sustained in the accident because of comparative negligence.
Another example of comparative negligence would be when a patient seeks medical attention and later decides that they no longer need treatment. If medical professionals advise that stopping a treatment is unwise but fail to mention the side effects or consequences of a failure to continue treatment, it could be considered a case of comparative negligence if the patient develops a more serious health condition that could have been prevented with continued treatment.
Getting Help with Comparative Negligence
Anyone who is a victim of a situation in which comparative negligence is involved should contact a lawyer for help getting the compensation that they need. Since the victim was partially responsible for the situation, it is likely that the negligent party will attempt to claim no responsibility to avoid being ordered to provide compensation to the victim. A personal injury lawyer can help the victim prove that the defendant was acting negligently in order to get the compensation that they need to pay for their medical expenses related to any injury sustained, wages lost when an injury prevents the victim from working and damages including a loss of quality of life.