What Is Comparative Negligence?

Specific factors affect the damages awarded to plaintiffs in personal injury cases. These may include the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries and the damage to their property. In Pennsylvania, the compensation awarded to a plaintiff is also determined in part by comparative negligence. Learn more about the concept of comparative negligence and how your attorney can ensure that you receive fair compensation by reading about it.

Defining Comparative Negligence

Before we get into the specifics of the comparative negligence rule in Pennsylvania, let’s first discuss that general concept. The principle of comparative negligence dictates the damages a plaintiff can receive in a personal injury case. To be more specific, comparative negligence comes into play if a plaintiff shares the blame for what happened.

A plaintiff’s compensation award may be reduced based on the percentage of blame they share for the accident. In some instances, a plaintiff may be barred from compensation due to comparative negligence.

Let’s use an example to illustrate how this works. For this example, let’s say that the court has determined that a plaintiff shares 30 percent of the blame for their car accident. The court will now reduce the plaintiff’s compensation by that amount. If the plaintiff was supposed to receive $10,000, they might get $7,000 instead because of comparative negligence.

An experienced car accident lawyer serving Philadelphia can work to minimize the impact of comparative negligence on your compensation award. They will show that your actions did not impact the accident, so your damages are not reduced.

What Version of Comparative Negligence Is Used in Pennsylvania?

Now that we have a general understanding of how comparative negligence works, we can analyze it from the perspective of a Pennsylvania resident. There are two variations of comparative negligence in use throughout the United States. The two variations are pure and modified comparative negligence.

Pure comparative negligence allows plaintiffs to recover damages even if they are up to 99 percent at fault for an accident. However, this is not the version of comparative negligence used in Pennsylvania.

What Pennsylvania follows is something known as modified comparative negligence. States that follow modified comparative negligence set a limit on how much blame a plaintiff can share for the accident before they are barred from recovering damages. Some set that bar at 50 percent, while others raise it to 51 percent.

Pennsylvania has its bar set at 51 percent. If the court finds that you bear most of the blame for an accident, then you are not allowed to receive any compensation.

Because of the way this version of comparative negligence works, defendants may aim to heap blame on you instead of trying to prove their innocence. They will be happy with the outcome if they can convince the court that you deserve most of the blame.

Don’t allow that to happen by securing the services of a personal injury attorney serving Philadelphia, PA.

Get The Help of Your Attorney

The rule of comparative negligence may determine whether you will receive compensation. Make sure that rule is correctly applied to your case by hiring an experienced personal injury attorney. We at Katz Injury Law are ready to fight for your compensation. Call us today, and we’ll get right to work on your case.

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