In some cases, the plaintiff won’t be able to care for their own injuries or exercise reasonable care for their safety. This is a huge issue that needs to be discussed with their tort lawyer during the defense process.
The lawyer’s job is to prove negligence to the other party so their client can be compensated for their personal injury case. In general, there are two approaches to this problem. They can opt for a contributory negligence defense or a comparative negligence defense.
Contributory negligence reduces the amount of money the plaintiff will get if they’re partly at fault for the accident. However, these cases must be thoroughly examined to understand which defense best suits the plaintiff. Keep reading if you want to learn how to figure that out and how this defense can help your case.
The first thing that must be done in any personal injury case is to determine fault, which can become a bit of a hassle if you’re dealing with an insurance company. These companies will try to get away with paying as little as possible, which may not be enough to cover the damages caused by the accident. Therefore, they will investigate and try to find out whether the victim shared fault with the defendant, as this can lower the amount of money they pay at the end of the case.
This is how these businesses work. Although accidents can sometimes be devastating, all we can do is try our best to build a solid defense to prevent the injured party from paying anything out-of-pocket or receiving less money than they should. That’s why the attorney must thoroughly investigate all tort claims to discover the plaintiff’s part of the blame and create a case around the facts they found.
In most cases, you can quickly tell when to use contributory negligence rules. If the plaintiff was injured by a terrible and unforeseen event, the chances are that they will get full compensation. However, suppose they were aware of the danger and decided not to do anything about it. In that case, they may have to create a contributory negligence case to prevent the court from taking away their compensation rights. This is the most important contributory negligence rule.
It is also crucial to remember that not all states allow contributory negligence. Therefore, you and your personal injury lawyer must investigate your local rules and determine whether this is a viable option. Suppose you’re not in a contributory negligence state. In that case, the court may deny payment altogether if the victim is at fault for the accident or didn’t do what is expected for a reasonable person to do in a similar scenario.
Comparative fault or negligence is commonly used as a defense strategy in personal injury claims. It is used to share the blame between parties if they were both responsible for the accident. In some cases, if they both break the same laws, their claims may be denied altogether.
This defense is commonly used in car accidents. Once the personal injury claim is filed, both parties will try to blame the other party for the accident, and if they both share fault, they will need to discuss this in court to determine how much each party will have to pay.
The plaintiff’s compensation will be determined based on “the degrees of determined negligence.” These rules explain how the less responsible party will be charged with contributory negligence and will only receive a percentage of the money they asked for in their claim due to civil liability.
This extreme case of comparative negligence allows the plaintiff to obtain compensation even if they’re 99% at fault for the accident, which means they will get 1% of the money they asked for in their claim. Pure comparative negligence is rare but still happens in some personal injury cases and is allowed in 13 states across the country.
In these cases, the plaintiff’s recovery is the most important thing. That’s why they will be recovering damages no matter what, and they’re apart from taking the blame for the accident.
Many people get these terms mixed up, so let’s go through them again to understand their difference. On the one hand, comparative negligence will assign blame to one of the two parties. If the plaintiff can prove that the defendant owed them a duty of care, they will get awarded a percentage of the money they asked for in the claim, depending on how much fault they share for the plaintiff’s own injury.
However, contributory negligence will reduce the compensation instead of assigning blame to both parties. That’s why most American states have adopted comparative negligence rules for all tort cases, such as wrongful death and medical malpractice cases.
Although we already went through the most critical aspects of the subject, it is still crucial for you to know the other two types of comparative negligence and how they are used for recovering damages.
Modified Comparative Negligence
Modified comparative fault eliminates the plaintiff’s right to be compensated if they were assigned more than a certain percentage of fault. In most cases, this happens when they get more than 51% of the blame for their accident. Still, other states use the 50% rule for modified comparative negligence.
This rule is only used in South Dakota and consists of eliminating percentages and changing them for the terms “slight” and “gross.” In these cases, each of the parties will be assigned one term. Gross negligence means the plaintiff’s negligence was much larger than the other party’s fault, and it usually includes reckless behavior.
On the other hand, slight negligence means their fault was less than the other party, and they will be charged a lesser amount.
Contributory negligence can be a bit complicated to understand, but it can also be a relief for some plaintiffs who were injured and were partially responsible for the accident. In contributory negligence cases, the lawyer will ensure their client gets charged with as little blame as possible at the civil court.
Therefore, if you want to file a personal injury claim but don’t know where to start, please go ahead and give us a call so our team of fantastic tort lawyers can get started with your case today. All you have to do is call (833-LETS-SUE).