When a personal injury accident occurs, there may be more than one side to the story. Sometimes, it isn’t always clear who caused the accident. In fact, in some cases, the victim may have contributed to the accident. When a victim is partially to blame for an accident, they’re said to have comparative negligence.
How does Pennsylvania law treat an accident with comparative negligence? Is PA a comparative negligence state? Pennsylvania has comparative negligence laws, and they can significantly impact the outcome of a case. The personal injury attorney team at the Randy H. Kaplan Law Offices explains comparative negligence in Pennsylvania.
Is PA a comparative negligence state?
Yes, PA is a comparative negligence state. If a personal injury accident occurs, comparative negligence applies to determine fault and apportion damages. Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence law is PA General Assembly Statute 42 § 7102. The law says that contributory negligence is not a bar to recovery as long as the victim’s negligence is less than the defendant’s negligence.
Comparative negligence act Pennsylvania
The comparative negligence act Pennsylvania is Pennsylvania statute 42 § 7102. The law says that a victim may recover for their damages even if they’re partially to blame for an accident. However, they recover less than they would recover if they did not have any blame for the events leading to the accident.
If the victim is more to blame than the defendant, they recover nothing at all. Blame is determined by the jury as a percentage. For example, say the jury determines that the victim is 60 percent to blame for the accident. They decide that the defendant is 40 percent to blame for the accident. In that case, the victim can’t recover anything at all, because they’re more to blame than the defendant.
Pennsylvania diminished damages for comparative negligence
When the victim is less to blame than the defendant, the victim may claim financial recovery for their injuries. However, the amount that they recover is reduced because of their percentage of fault. For example, the jury finds the defendant 80 percent responsible for the accident. They find the victim 20 percent responsible for the accident. The defendant has $20,000 in damages.
Because of the comparative negligence, the victim can recover their damages reduced by 20 percent. With $20,000 in damages, in the example, they can recover 80 percent or $16,000. It’s critical for a victim’s personal injury law firm to explain to the jury why the victim is not at fault or why their fault is minimal. How the jury apportions fault directly impacts the amount that the victim can recover under Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence rules.
Pennslyvania personal injury attorney for comparative fault cases
If you’ve been in an accident, let the personal injury law firm Randy H. Kaplan Law Offices explain how comparative negligence may impact your case. Our team works on the details and builds your case diligently in order to ensure that you take comparative fault laws into account when you build the strongest possible case. Call us today for your free consultation.