If you have had a slip and fall and injured yourself on another person’s property the owner of the property may be liable and face blame for your injury, however, they may claim that the accident was your fault and thereby avoid being held liable.
But how do you know if the property owner is to blame? we’re going to take a look at that now.
How Slip and Fall Claims Work
If you have been injured because you had a slip and fall you will need to prove that the owner of the property was negligent. The negligence could be with respect to the maintenance or the ownership of the property. In simple terms, being negligent means that the owner of the property did something wrong or they failed to take reasonable care.
If you slipped and fell on another person’s property it does not automatically mean that they had been negligent. Even if the property has been found to be unsafe again, it does not mean the owner was negligent. You have to prove to the court that the owner of the property knew or perhaps should have known that the property/premises were in an unsafe condition. You will also have to prove that the owner did not take reasonable steps in order to deal with the problem.
Comparative Negligence and Proof
Comparative negligence deals with whether the injured person (Also known as the ‘Plaintiff’) was negligent before they slipped and fell. This type of negligence is comparable because the jury needs to compare just how negligent the plaintiff was in comparison to the property owner’s negligence (Also known as the ‘Defendant’).
The defendant will need to raise this issue and work to establish how comparatively negligent the plaintiff was. At the same time, the plaintiff does not need to prove that they were not negligent. In simpler terms: The defendant needs to prove that the plaintiff did something wrong or did not take reasonable care, and therefore caused their injuries. The plaintiff simply needs to prove that the defendant is negligible.
How Comparative Negligence Works
A judge or jury will determine how negligent the plaintiff is after they have decided whether the defendant was also negligent. If it is found that the defendant was not negligent, the case will be over, and the judge or jury will not need to determine if the plaintiff was negligent.
If it is found that the defendant was negligent the judger or jury will then try to determine if the plaintiff was negligent too. If the judge or jury finds that the plaintiff was negligent they then have to work out how negligent the plaintiff was in comparison to how negligent the defendant was.
For example, the judge or jury may find that the defendant was 75% negligent, and the plaintiff 25% negligent for the plaintiff’s injuries. This means that the plaintiff was 25% at fault for their injuries.
One of the most important things that needs to be understood in comparative negligence cases is that the plaintiff’s negligence will affect the amount of compensation they receive by their percentage of fault.
Comparative Negligence: The Different Types
Many parts of the United States follow a comparative negligence rule that works to calculate the damages under a specific formula, looking at every party’s degree of fault. If for example you were found to be 50% at fault for an accident, any compensation you receive is likely to be reduced by 50%. This means that if the damages add up to $15,000, it’s likely that you will only receive $7,500. However, many states fall into two categories when damage awards are calculated, these categories are ‘Modified comparative negligence’ and ‘Pure comparative negligence’.
Modified comparative negligence – Here a plaintiff is able to claim compensation if they were only 50% or less responsible for the accident. Some states require that the plaintiff is less than 50% responsible for their accident.
Pure comparative negligence – Here a plaintiff can receive damages regardless of how much they were at fault.
In states that follow this type of negligence, plaintiffs who are found to be even slightly at fault for their injury may not receive any compensation as part of their personal injury case. Even if you found to be just 5% at fault, you would not receive any damage for your claim.
If you have had a slip and fall and injured yourself on another person’s property the owner of the property may be liable and face blame for your injury, however, they may claim that the accident was your fault and thereby avoid being held liable. Knowing how comparative negligence works could help you to determine whether you are likely to receive compensation for your slip and fall injuries.
If you currently are suffering from a personal injury and are unable to read ‘How does Comparitive Negligence Affect a Slip and Fall Case?’ please watch our Injury Pedia video so you can gain the Personal Injury Information and Answers you are seeking.