In Kentucky, more than one person can be liable in a personal injury case. Under comparative negligence, you can share blame for your injury with someone else but still seek partial compensation to help pay for your recovery.
If someone’s negligence causes you to be in an accident and you get injured, you have the right to file a claim and seek help with your recovery. But what if you feel you might be partly to blame for what happened? Luckily, in Kentucky, you can still earn support from anyone involved in your accident as long as they share even a small percentage of the fault.
Comparative Negligence in Kentucky Personal Injury Cases
Comparative negligence governs how much you can expect in a personal injury case if you share some liability in the accident that hurt you.
Kentucky is a pure comparative negligence state. That means an at-fault party can be made to pay a portion of your injury damages no matter how little blame they share. This is true if they are found responsible for 99% of your hardships, 50% or even 1%.
How is my Comparative Negligence Subtracted from my Settlement?
Under pure comparative negligence, you may have to accept partial blame for the accident that left you hurt.
You may have been looking at a cellphone when you slipped and fell on a puddle in a supermarket. You could then share partial fault with the store owners. You could also be driving a bit too fast when a car pulls out in front of you and there’s a crash. You might have to split the blame with the other driver for the injuries you suffer.
For example, if you are assigned 30% of the blame in the examples above, the other party may get hit with 70% of the blame. A suitable settlement figure or judgment in court would be determined. You then receive your award, but first, your 30% of liability is subtracted.
Fighting for your Comparative Negligence Case
To save money, the insurance company for the other at-fault party will be doing their best to get you to accept as much blame as possible. Every single percentage of fault you take on could mean thousands of dollars in savings for the insurance representatives.
This is where having a skilled personal injury attorney on your side can really improve your case’s outcome. Your lawyer will have already been collecting evidence and witness testimony to make sure you don’t have to accept an unfair portion of the liability. In fact, the goal will be to show that you really didn’t bear any of the blame when you got hurt.
What Evidence Do I Need to Collect on the Scene of my Accident?
When a case involves several potential at-fault parties, including yourself, the battle over percentages of blame can be intense.
A police report or an incident report at a place of business may show that you weren’t responsible for your injury, but insurance companies can still attempt to shift part of the blame to you. If they can, it instantly saves them on the amount of support they must provide to you.
When determining comparative negligence in a personal injury case, evidence is all the more important. Some items you secure on the scene of your accident could show you weren’t at fault and bring your percentage of liability from 50% down to zero.
Here are a few important details you can gather on the scene:
- Dial 911 if you need medical help. Always request police response if you’ve been in a traffic accident, no matter how minor you feel the incident was. That police accident report will be valuable evidence in your favor.
- Take pictures. Pull out your cellphone and get images of whatever caused your accident. Take photos of vehicles and lane markings in a traffic accident. In a slip-and-fall incident, grab images of the obstacle that dropped you to the floor. That obstacle will be cleaned up or removed when you return.
- Get witness names. Get the names of anyone around at the time and their contact information.
- Exchange information and report your accident. In a traffic accident, exchange driver’s license and insurance information with the other driver. After an accident at a place of business, get a manager and let him or her know what happened. They’ll be filling out an incident report.
- Don’t post to social media. You may want to shout about your accident and your innocence on Facebook or Instagram. Resist this temptation. Anything picture you post or comment you make can be used as evidence later when determining fault in the incident.
- Get examined by your doctor. In the days that follow, work up a medical chart on every injury. Pay special attention to those injuries that appear in the days after the accident. Save all medical invoices
Contact a Kentucky Personal Injury Lawyer
Kentucky allows injured victims up to one year to file a claim for damages or a lawsuit over their accident. This is not a long time and it’s best to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Giving your lawyer as much time as possible to collect fresh evidence, documents, and round-up witnesses is always helpful.
You can count on the personal injury attorneys with Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, to fight to prove your innocence and minimize any fault you might have to accept. You should still receive substantial compensation for what you’ve been through.
Contact Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, for a free, no-obligation case evaluation. You don’t pay us a cent unless we win your case.