Understanding Comparative Negligence in Pennsylvania Personal Injury Cases

Understanding Comparative Negligence in Pennsylvania Personal Injury Cases

The course of action to take after an injury accident is to seek medical attention, and then it is usually good advice to speak with an attorney. If another party harmed you, they may have acted negligently. When this is true, you could have a case to make a claim for compensation for your damages. An attorney can review your case, advise you of your options and help you determine if you should file a claim.

Negligence is a fundamental element of any personal injury claim. To prove negligence existed, first, you must be able to show that a duty of care was present and it was violated. Then, that violation of the duty of care led to an accident, and the victim suffered injuries. In some injury cases, one person or entity may be fully liable for causing an accident because they were completely negligent. In other cases, all parties may have engaged in some type of negligent act that contributed the the accident happening. 

Every state in the nation follows its own fault system. Your ability to recover compensation and how much you can recover will be dependent on the system that your state uses. Pennsylvania follows a modified comparative negligence system. 

For more information on how to recover damages and if you can file a claim, please reach out to a Pennsylvania personal injury attorney at Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP.

Comparative Negligence Laws in Pennsylvania

Understanding Comparative Negligence in Pennsylvania Personal Injury CasesThe modified comparative negligence system that Pennsylvania follows is one that the majority of the country also uses. In a modified comparative negligence state, the 51% rule is abided by. What this means is that as long as a plaintiff is less than 51% responsible for causing an injury accident, they can file a claim and seek monetary compensation.

In this system, a plaintiff can only be deemed to be as high as 50% responsible to be able to obtain any amount of recovery. The amount of liability that is assessed will be deducted from their settlement amount. For example, let’s say a Pennsylvania car accident occurs. If you want to file a claim and you are considered to be 20% liable for causing the accident, then you could only recover 80% of your total damages.

Therefore, in Pennsylvania, you can be partially liable for causing your accident and still potentially be able to recover financial compensation for your losses.  This is true, as long as your actions were not 51% or more at fault for the accident taking place.

When determining how much liability you have, relevant parties will look at all the details of your accident and the evidence presented. Based on the facts of the case presented by all involved parties, a percentage of fault will be assigned to each party.

Speak to an Attorney at Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP Today

Every personal injury case is different, and determining liability is important in Pennsylvania because it can affect your ability to recover compensation. An attorney at Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP, can help. Call (215) 731-9900 to schedule a free initial consultation with a knowledgeable attorney.

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