Comparative Fault in Personal Injury Claims

When filing for a personal injury claim, most courts will want to determine who really is at fault for the accident or incident that resulted in injury on your part. While some cases can establish that the other party is solely liable, in many cases, you might have somewhat contributed to your own injury. This now becomes a basis for comparative fault, which may arise in many personal injury cases.

Defining Comparative Fault

Before going into the definition of comparative fault or negligence, it’s important to know how fault is defined in legal terms. Fault means that someone should be held responsible for causing harm, usually due to negligence, and should thus pay for the damages stemming from the harm. Saying that the accident was due to a comparative fault means that the person injured is, in one way or another, also at fault in causing his own injury.

How Massachusetts Assesses Comparative Fault

In Massachusetts, the damages awarded to the injured person will be reduced if he shared less than 50 percent of the fault of his own injury. Say that you’ve filed a personal injury claim after tripping and falling on a broken floor tile at an establishment. Once the court determines that you tripped on this broken tile because you were looking at other items at display, they will determine that you are 10 percent at fault for your own injury, thus reducing the amount awarded to you by 10 percent.

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