How much responsibility you bear for an accident can determine the damages you are awarded. If you are partially at fault, can you still make a claim against someone? Well, there’s good news and bad news.

The bad news is that under the rules of Proportionate Responsibility, the damages paid to someone injured in a negligence case will be reduced the more you are at fault. That means if a jury determines you were 30% at fault in a car accident, any damages awarded to you will be reduced by 30%. This rule is capped at 50%, however. If you are suing someone for an injury and it is determined that you were more than 50% responsible, then your injury is considered your own fault and you will receive no payout.

The good news is, things used to be a lot worse. Historically speaking, the law has become more friendly to plaintiffs over time. In the past, a principle called “contributory negligence” said that if you were even 1% at fault for an injury then you were not owed any compensation. Ever since the early 1900s, this very strict standard has been getting more and more reasonable. Major reforms in 1995 and 2003 helped this process along to the modern day rules.

Filing a lawsuit after an injury can be a complicated process. It can be helpful to have a team of established lawyers on your side. If you need help, contact us today.