Media Car Accident Lawyer Discusses Compensation if You’re at Fault
As a skilled Media Car Accident Lawyer, clients come to me all the time with questions regarding compensation when they are partially at fault in an accident. If you’ve been involved in an automobile accident in the State of Pennsylvania in which you believe you may be partially at fault, you are not entirely precluded or stopped from bringing a claim against the other party. The situation works a little differently than in a straight accident where it’s clear the other party is there. In this particular case, the Pennsylvania legislature has adopted the Pennsylvania Comparative Negligence Law, which applies to automobile accidents and other types of negligence cases such as slip and falls or anything of that nature, where someone has breached the duty of care and injured a party.
The way in which this works is if you end up in court, and there are two phases. One is the liability phase and one is the damages phase. In the liability phase you bring in all the evidence, you bring your testimony in, the other party’s testimony, any witnesses, and you present a case that says this is the best case for me. “I’m at fault a little bit or a percentage, but the other individual is also at fault.” At that point in time what the jury does or the fact finder if it’s an arbitration case, under $50,000, they will listen to the evidence and make an assessment of percentages between the parties that are at fault. If they think the plaintiff or the injured party has a partially responsibility, they will assign a percentage to that individual’s responsibility. If the defendants are responsible, they will assign a percentage to them. If there is more than one defendant, they will break it up between the defendants so that at the end is arrive at a figure of 100%. The fact finder, the jury, or the arbitration panel will then assess a damages award, for your particular injuries. Let’s just say it’s a value of $100,000 because it’s an easy number. If the jury has assessed that you are 20% responsible for the accident and the defendants, between them, are 80%, then what they will do is reduce your award from $100,000 by the 20% that you were found to be at fault. The net award would be $80,000, that is how the juries are assessing.
If, however, it gets to the point that the jury has found you are 51% at fault then that means you are the cause of the accident and you now receive no compensation whatsoever. Even if the jury has determined that your value is $100,000, if you’re 51% or more, then your compensation will be zero and it will be found to be a defendant’s award and no compensation will be awarded.
If you have any questions about compensation if your partially at fault in an accident, please contact our Media Car Accident Lawyers for a free case evaluation.
This educational blog was brought to you by experienced Car Accident Lawyer Walter J. Timby. Our law firm proudly represents clients throughout Media, as well as Pennsylvania, the greater Philadelphia area, Delaware and New Jersey.