When Fault Gets Shared

Typically, whenever an accident has taken place, some person or organization can be held responsible. Sometimes, more than on person can be held accountable. Legal issues arise in situations where there has been shared fault as per Personal Injury Lawyer in London.

Each state bases its laws, regarding shared fault, on one of 2 different principles.

A few states base their laws on the principle of contributory negligence. That makes it clear that anyone that has contributed in any way to creation of his or her own injury cannot hold someone else responsible.

A larger group of states follow the precepts in the principle known as comparative negligence. That concerns itself with the amount of fault that has been assigned to each of the parties that were involved in a given accident. The percent of fault assigned to a particular party determines the size of that same party’s compensation, if an accident has resulted in an injury to the same person/party.

The history of comparative negligence

Because it allows the legal system to reach a fairer resolution of an accident-caused dispute, that particular principle has enjoyed greater usage. Over time, the same principle’s guidelines have changed. Traditionally, someone that had contributed just a small percentage of the various causes for a given accident could still be asked to compensate anyone that had been injured in the same accidental incident. In other words, this could become the situation, if a reckless driver collided with someone that was not wearing a seat belt.

It could be that the reckless driver suffered a sprained wrist. Yet because the other, severely injured motorist had failed to wear a seat belt, he or she would have to pay for whatever medical expenses got created, during the treatment of that sprained wrist.

The modified version of comparative negligence encourages a more equitable approach to such a problem. According to the modified version, there is a limit to how much any one party can contribute towards creation of an accident, before being held responsible for the same accidental occurrence. Consequently, anyone that has contributed to less than 50% of the accident’s cause can still collect an award.

Of course, the size of that same award would correspond with the degree to which the injured victim had played a part in creating the injury-producing event. If that same party had been 45% responsible for the event’s occurrence, then that same person would get only 55% of the award.

Most members of the legal community appreciate the level of fairness in such a decision. Yet, those same men and women want all people to be fair to those around them, and, thus, strive to both learn and follow the rules of the road.