If you or somebody you care about has been injured in an accident, you may be wondering whether or not you will be able to obtain compensation for your injuries and other losses. In a typical personal injury case, we will see that one party is at fault for causing an injury to another. In these cases, the at-fault party will be responsible for covering the economic and non-economic damages of the other party. However, personal injury cases are not always cut and dry. What happens if the injury victim was partially or mostly responsible for causing their own injury? Here, we want to discuss this scenario as well as how Kentucky’s comparative negligence system works.
Kentucky operates under a comparative negligence system when it comes to determining fault and paying compensation after an injury occurs. Kentucky is one of the few states that operate under a “pure comparative negligence” system. This means that an injury victim can recover compensation even if they are mostly at fault for the injury (up to 99% at fault). However, there are limitations in these situations. For example, the total amount of compensation an injury victim receives will be reduced based on their percentage of fault.
We should use a simple, made-up example to demonstrate how this would work in a personal injury case. Suppose Becky is walking through the grocery store and slips on a broken jar of mayonnaise as she rounds one aisle to the next. Suppose Becky sustains a fairly severe traumatic brain injury but is able to make a full recovery after a few months. However, in the meantime, Becky incurred $100,000 worth of medical bills and other losses as a result of the injury.
Now, let us suppose that a personal injury jury determines that Becky was actually mostly at fault for the injury because her eyes were glued to her cell phone – she was making a social media video at the time the incident occurred. The jury, in our theoretical scenario here, determined that Becky would have likely seen the broken jar of mayonnaise had she not been making the video with her cell phone.
In this scenario, it is entirely plausible that a jury will find Becky 70% responsible for the incident. That means that instead of receiving $100,000 in total compensation, Becky would only receive $30,000 to account for her 70% of the fault.
If you or somebody you care about has sustained an injury, you need to speak to a skilled attorney as soon as possible. A Kentucky personal injury lawyer can get involved in your case and help determine the best steps moving forward for your situation. All too often, injury victims decide not to pursue any compensation at all because they think they were mostly responsible for the incident. Yes, injury victims will receive less compensation if they are found to be partially or mostly at fault for an injury, but this does not mean that they will receive no compensation at all. The Kentucky pure comparative negligence system helps ensure fairness in these situations.