Boise Personal Injury Lawyer Q&A: What Is Comparative Negligence?
When discussing a new case with potential clients, many Boise personal injury lawyers will mention comparative negligence. However, few take the time to explain to their clients what it means and how it affects each case. We will cover everything in the following lines.
What Is Comparative Negligence?
It is a tort law principle applied when establishing fault in personal injury cases. According to it, all parties involved in an accident or personal injury case can contribute to it. In such cases, each party’s fault or negligence is comparative with their contribution.
The best way to understand comparative negligence is through a real-life example. Let us say you go shopping and slip on a wet, recently washed floor. You break your back and need two weeks off work and extensive medical care.
Any Boise personal injury attorney will advise you to seek compensation for your injuries. In theory, the store owner/manager or their cleaning service provider is at fault for your injuries. They should have at least warned about the condition of the floor.
However, you could have contributed to the injuries yourself. Perhaps you were not paying attention to where you were going or you were in a hurry. Your lack of attention or rush may have aggravated the injuries. It will be up to the claim adjuster or the civil court to establish by how much.
Why Do Boise Personal Injury Attorneys Pay So Much Importance to Comparative Negligence?
The effects of comparative negligence are subject to Idaho Statutes Section 6-801. According to it, a person can seek compensation for injuries they contributed to on one condition. Their negligence or liability should be lower than that of the other party.
The value of the compensation is diminished according to the claimant’s fault percentage. The insurance claim adjuster or the civil court is the one who assigns fault. They do it based on the available evidence.
Returning to the above example, you can only claim compensation if you are less than 50% at fault. In order to actually obtain the compensation, you or your Boise personal injury lawyer will need to prove that:
- The store owner/manager/cleaning service provider owed you a duty of care (to warn about the wet floor)
- They neglected their duty of care and your injuries were the result of their negligence
- Your injuries brought about the losses and expenses subject to your compensation claim
Let’s assume that, based on the available evidence, fault is established at 75/25. Otherwise put, the defendant to your personal injury claim is 75% at fault and you are 25% at fault. Let’s also assume your total expenses reach $100,000.
Instead of paying you the entire amount, the defendant will only pay 75% of it. Since you were 25% at fault, 25% of the damages are your responsibility. It should be obvious that in any personal injury case the defendant will try to prove contributory negligence.
Why Work with a Personal Injury Lawyer in Boise, ID?
In most cases, the defendant is an insurer or a commercial company. All these companies have experienced Idaho personal injury attorneys representing their interests. Their lawyers will always focus on proving contributory negligence.
If they succeed, every fault percentage they attribute to you is money they no longer pay. The least you can do is make things difficult to them. The best way to do that is to work with an experienced personal injury attorney in Boise, Idaho.
The latter will help you gather the evidence you need to justify your compensation claim. They will also help you bring a strong defense against any contributory negligence accusations. With their help, you will obtain a higher compensation than you could hope for by yourself.
It is important to note that the road from injury to compensation is quite long. It involves following strict procedures and dealing with tons of paperwork. For injury victims, it is much easier and more comfortable to let a personal injury attorney take over.
Fight Contributory Negligence Accusations with the Help of Boise Personal Injury Lawyers
If your case comes anywhere near the example above, we can help. It does not matter how you incurred your injuries, you deserve compensation. In order to obtain it, you will probably have to fight contributory negligence accusations.
To learn how to do that and get further advice, schedule a free consultation now! Call our law firm office at 208-314-3188 or use the online contact form! Our Boise personal injury lawyer will gladly provide the information and advice you need!