The general rule in personal injury law is the party who is responsible for causing the injuries is responsible for paying expenses related to them. Sometimes, the defendants in personal injury cases will use the state’s comparative fault laws to reduce the amount they are ordered to pay to the victims. What are the comparative fault laws? How can these laws affect your case? Here’s what you should know:
Comparative Fault Laws in Missouri
The state of Missouri has established a pure comparative fault system. This system is used to determine how fault should be divided between parties and how much compensation should be awarded to the plaintiff.
For example, let’s say a woman is injured in a car accident and files a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver. It is determined that she has suffered $100,000 in damages as a result of her car accident injuries. If the jury believes that the other driver was 100% at fault for the accident, she will be awarded $100,000 in damages. But, a review of the evidence could convince the jury that she is actually 20% at fault for the accident. In this case, the total amount of compensation awarded to her will be reduced by 20%, so she will receive $80,000.
This is how a pure comparative fault system works. Basically, if there are multiple at-fault parties, each party must share the legal obligation of compensating the victim. If the plaintiff is one of the at-fault parties, she can still recover compensation for her injuries even though she was partly to blame. However, the award will be reduced to account for the role she played in the accident.
How Comparative Fault Laws Affect Personal Injury Cases
The defendant in your personal injury case could attempt to place some of the blame on you in order to reduce the amount of compensation he is ordered to pay. It’s important to work with an attorney who can disprove this argument so you can recover the full amount of compensation for your injuries.
Another way the defendant could reduce his liability is by placing the blame on third parties. For instance, the defendant could argue that a third driver was partially responsible for the accident. If the defendant shares liability with the driver, he will also share the responsibility of compensating the victim with the driver.
Have you been injured? If so, contact The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center as soon as possible. Let our experienced personal injury attorneys fight to ensure you are fully compensated for your injuries. Call our office at 816-322-8008, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation today.