The categories of personal injury accidents are as far-reaching as the types of injuries that might actually result. From motor vehicle accidents and defective products to animal attacks and faulty construction, an individual might suffer lacerations, broken bones, soft tissue damage, head trauma or spinal cord damage. Generally, the first question that anyone asks when hearing about a serious accident is Who caused it?
Historically, the legal system has viewed any level of contributory negligence as a total bar on the recovery of damages after a personal injury accident. In short, contributory negligence means that if an individual in any way contributed to the accident that caused their injury, that person would not be eligible to recover monetary compensation for his or her lost wages, medical bills or property damage. Fortunately, Kentucky has adopted comparative negligence.
In general, there are two approaches the courts can take to comparative negligence:
- Pure comparative negligence: In this approach, the plaintiff’s damages are totaled and then reduced by a factor equal to the individual’s contribution to the injury. For example, if it is determined that he or she was 25% responsible for the accident, the total damages will be reduced by 25%.
- Modified comparative negligence: This is the more common approach and generally considered an extension of the former. In the modified comparative negligence approach, the plaintiff’s damages are totaled and then reduced by the factor of negligence. If it is determined that the individual is responsible for more than half the fault, the plaintiff will not be awarded monetary damages.
If you were injured in an accident, it is critical that you discuss your situation with an experienced attorney. Based on the facts of your case, you might be entitled to recover monetary compensation for lost wages, medical bills, property damage, and pain and suffering. Do not hesitate to protect your financial future.