Understanding Utah's Modified Comparative Negligence Statute
Sometimes when an accident occurs, the injured party may be partially at fault. Utah follows a modified comparative negligence statute that allows some people who are partially at fault for their accident to recover damages. Personal injury attorney Lynn C. Harris assists clients in recovering the maximum compensation for their injuries even if they are partially at fault.
Utah’s modified comparative negligence statute can cause some confusion. Some injury victims in Salt Lake City, Provo, UT, and throughout the state may wonder if they can seek financial compensation for their injuries if they are partially at fault for their accident. Fortunately, the statute allows for the recovery of damages but with certain stipulations, which we’ll consider today.
What Is Modified Comparative Negligence?
Modified comparative negligence refers to how fault is divided in an accident. Each party involved in the accident may hold a certain percentage of fault depending on how their actions contributed to the accident.
Modified comparative negligence is used in personal injury lawsuits to determine how much a partially at-fault accident victim can receive in damages.
Further, modified comparative negligence stipulates that in order to recover damages from a lawsuit, the injured party must be less than 50 percent responsible for the accident. In other words, those who are 50 percent or more responsible for an accident, even if they’re injured, cannot sue another responsible party.
How Does Modified Comparative Negligence Affect Damages?
When determining damages through a personal injury lawsuit, the percentage the injured party is deemed responsible for their accident is subtracted from the total damages awarded.
If the injured party is 50 percent or more at fault for the accident, they will not be eligible to recover damages through a lawsuit. However, if the injured party is 49 percent responsible or less and another party is more than 50 percent liable, it may be possible to recover compensation through a lawsuit.
An Example of Modified Comparative Negligence
It’s important to reiterate that damages will be reduced by the percentage the injured party was found responsible for the accident.
For example, if the injured party was 10 percent responsible and is awarded $10,000, the settlement would be reduced by 10 percent (or $1,000) leaving them with a $9,000 settlement.
So although some damages are lost through the modified comparative negligence statute, it does provide the benefit of allowing partially at-fault parties to pursue damages.
Determining the Percentage of Fault
Accidents can be complex. Sometimes it’s not clear who’s at fault or how much fault each party may have contributed to the accident. Because of this, it’s important that those who are injured in an accident seek the assistance of a personal injury attorney to help determine whether they may be able to recover damages through a lawsuit.
Schedule a Review of Your Claim
Even if you’re partially at fault for an accident in which you sustained injuries, you may be able to recover financial compensation. Personal injury attorney Lynn Harris can review the details of your accident to determine your best course of action. Call our Salt Lake City law firm at (801) 521-3200 to schedule a consultation online.