How Does Percentage Of Fault Impact Your Personal Injury Lawsuit?

18 October 2022
 Categories: Law, Blog


Were you injured due to someone else's negligence, and now you want to sue them for the damages you sustained? If so, it's important to understand how the percentage of fault will play into your lawsuit and impact your potential compensation. 

You May Only Receive A Portion Of Your Requested Compensation

Percentage of fault can play a big role in determining exactly how much compensation you will receive in a personal injury lawsuit. This is because most states are comparative negligence states, which means that your compensation can be reduced due to the percentage of fault that you have in the accident. For example, if you had $10,000 worth of hospital bills but are found to be 25 percent at fault for causing the accident, you can only receive up to $7,500 worth of compensation.

Your State May Have Different Rules Regarding Comparative Negligence 

Be aware that some states do not follow comparative negligence rules when it comes to determining compensation. If your state follows contributory negligence rules, you would not be able to receive any compensation if you are found to be at fault for even a small portion of the accident. You can only receive compensation if the responsible party is 100 percent at fault. This can make it harder to win a lawsuit since the defendant only has to prove that they are partially responsible. 

In addition, there are many ways that comparative negligence can play into a lawsuit based on state laws, which change based on how much fault you have in causing the accident. You may be held to the standard of the 50 percent rule, meaning that you must be found less than 50 percent responsible to receive compensation. Even if there is a 50/50 split in responsibility, that would not be enough to receive the compensation you are seeking. 

Your Judge Can Assign Fault In A Personal Injury Case

If you are able to settle your case outside of court, you ultimately are the one that decides how much compensation you receive by accepting or rejecting an offer. This puts more power in your hands since you can always take a case to trial if you feel like you are not getting what you deserve. However, if your injury case does go to trial, a judge will be the person that will assign a percentage of fault to your case. 

Reach out to a personal injury lawyer to learn more.