You can be up to 50% responsible for an accident and still collect damages in a Pennsylvania personal injury claim. If you were more than 50% responsible for an accident, you are not able to recover compensation for your accident expenses. This is because Pennsylvania follows the modified comparative negligence - 51% rule.
If you think you may have been partially responsible for an accident, don't let that stop you from at least talking to an attorney about filing a Pennsylvania personal injury claim to request compensation for your injuries. A knowledgeable Philadelphia personal injury lawyer will go over your case and let you know your legal options.
Negligence in a Pennsylvania Personal Injury Claim
In your personal injury case, you'll have to prove that the party you are seeking damages from was negligent. The 5 main elements of negligence are:
Duty - the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care.
Breach of Duty - the defendant breached their duty of care through their actions or inactions.
Cause in Fact - the defendant is directly linked to the harm that was caused to the plaintiff.
Proximate Cause - it's foreseeable that the defendant set in motion the actions that caused the plaintiff harm.
Damages - the actual harm caused by the defendant's conduct.
It may seem easy to prove negligence in a case where a surgeon operates on an unconscious patient's wrong body part. The surgical staff would likely be 100% responsible for the error and the patient would be able to sue for 100% of damages under the modified comparative negligence - 51% rule.
Suppose the injuries were sustained in a car accident. If the defendant was 70% responsible for the accident, and the plaintiff 30% responsible, the plaintiff could sue and be compensated for no more than 70% of the damages. If damages are $10,000, the award would be reduced to $7,000.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer in the Courtroom
If your claim cannot be successfully negotiated and a personal injury lawsuit ensues, a jury will be presented with the evidence and will decide who caused the accident - the plaintiff, defendant or both. This is the time when you would definitely want a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer by your side to make sure that all pertinent evidence is presented from your accident.
Based on the evidence, the jury will allocate a percentage of fault to the negligent parties. This will affect how your damages are awarded. Just remember, the modified comparative negligence - 51% rule means you must be less than 51% at fault in an accident to receive compensation in a Pennsylvania personal injury claim.
Contacting a Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been severely injured in an accident in the Philadelphia area, you shouldn't have to suffer and pay for expensive medical bills that were caused by another person's negligence. Contact a Philadelphia injury lawyer at White & Williams LLPtoday. We will provide a no-cost, no-obligation consultation on your case -877-944-8396.
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