Within the world of personal injury attorneys and settlements, “negligence” is a common buzzword. Accidents or other injury situations require determining fault to figure out who is due compensation based on any damage sustained during an incident, and negligence is often a big factor here.

At the law offices of John D. Halepaska, we’re experienced with everything to do with fault and negligence in any auto accident or other personal injury case. In Utah and many other states, a related law here is known as “comparative negligence” – what does this mean, and how might it impact you if you’ve been involved in any kind of personal injury case? Let’s take a look.

Comparative Negligence Basics

Utah’s comparative negligence law states that in any premises liability case where negligence is being determined, the court and any determining body will examine the full circumstances of the accident – including each individual party involved – to determine which factors contributed to the injury. Essentially, this rule allows for the sharing of fault; it rejects the premise that only a single person or entity is responsible for every kind of accident or injury, which is logical when you think about it. So even if you were partially at fault in an accident or some other incident, you may be able to recover damages if negligence or fault from other parties exceeds your own.

Determining Fault and Assigning Compensation

When it comes to cases of premises liability, the court or jury will deliberate the percentages of fault across the individuals or entities involved in the incident. The process for compensation being paid out to individuals here is about as straightforward as it gets: You get the percentage of compensation that lines up with the fault that was not yours.

So if you were deemed to be 30 percent responsible for an injury but the other party was 70 percent responsible, you’ll get 70 percent of the compensation in the case. There are many cases where one party or the other is ruled at fault for the entire incident, in which case the opposite party will receive 100 percent of compensation.

Helping Your Case

Like with any personal injury case, all of the above is only true if it can be proven. If you’re hurt on someone else’s property or in any way looking to recover damages from them, you have to be able to prove what happened. Here are some tips for proper documentation:

  • Immediately call the police so a report can be filed and evidence can begin being collected.
  • Take photos of the property and incident if you can, or have someone else do so for you if you’re physically incapable.
  • Get contact information not only of the other party, but also of any witnesses so they can tell the court what they saw if needed.
  • Seek medical care right away, and carefully document any treatment for the court.

For more on comparative negligence, or to learn about any of our personal injury or auto accident attorney services, speak to the staff at the offices of John D. Halepaska today.