If you have been injured due to the negligent behavior of another person, it is your right to file a personal injury claim. Starting the personal injury suit process lets the negligent party know that you intend on being compensated for your injuries as well as consequences that stem from the injury. Unfortunately, personal injury cases are not always that black and white. In many instances, the injured and the negligent party are partly responsible. Though blame may be shared, it is still possible to sue. Before you make the decision to move forward in your suit and/or accept a settlement offer, it is imperative that you connect with an experienced attorney. According to a prominent personal injury attorney in Orange County, injury victims have a limited amount of time to file their case and obtain compensation. So, it is advised that you move quickly.
Determining Negligence in the Case
Before you make the decision to sue, it is important that you and your attorney prove that the other party exhibited negligent behavior that led to your injury. Negligence can most easily be determined by understanding what “duty of care” the offending party breached and then presenting evidence that substantiates your claims. If there is no negligence found, your attorney will typically advise against taking your case further. If you can prove that the other party was at least partially negligent, then you will have a case worth moving forward with.
What is “Comparative Negligence”?
In many cases, multiple parties can be at fault for an injury. This includes the person that was injured. While a few states have “no-fault” laws, the vast majority of states consider comparative negligence or modified comparative negligence when determining who is at fault. See the difference between the two below.
- Comparative Negligence: This means that if you are 50% responsible for your injuries and the other party is 50% responsible, they would pay 50% of your damages.
- Modified Comparative Negligence: States that use a modified comparative negligence policy posit that you are not entitled to any compensation if you are more than 50% responsible for an accident injury.
Determining the percentage of fault that should be placed on each party takes a lot of research and investigation. Collecting evidence, following your doctor’s orders, and attending all medical appointments are helpful to your attorney when they are investigating your case. It can also be the difference between a case that takes a few months to settle and one that takes years.
What to do if You are Partially at Fault for the Accident
If you have been injured in any type of accident, it is important that you do not admit any fault to witnesses or the police. This is true even if you believe that you share some of the blame. It is always best to give facts, but not your opinions. In addition, ensure that you collect as much evidence from the scene as you can. This includes physical evidence, pictures, and videos. Just because you share some of the fault in an accident does not mean that you must pay for all of the damages. If the other party is found to have some fault, it is your right to pursue compensation in accordance with the percentage that they were responsible for. If you have recently been injured in an accident due to full or partial negligence from another person, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as you can.