Following an injury in an accident, too many victims believe they do not have the ability to obtain compensation for their injuries because they think--or know--they were partially to blame. However, many of these injured victims are mistaken, as Nevada law allows certain injured individuals to recover against other responsible parties despite contributing to the cause of the accident, as well.
Nevada has adopted the legal doctrine called modified comparative negligence. This doctrine allows victims who were partially at fault for the incident to recover, even for pain and suffering compensation in Las Vegas, as long as they were less at fault than the other party. Simply put, if you are less than 50 percent to blame for the accident and the party against whom you are filing a claim was more than 50 percent responsible, you may be entitled to compensation from the more liable party.
It is true that, in situations involving comparative negligence, you will recover less than if you had no fault in the accident at all. However, your recovery can still be substantial, especially if you suffered serious injuries. Your recovery will simply be lessened by the percentage of your apportioned fault.
For example, imagine that you were shopping at the grocery store and you tripped and fell over a crate that had been dangerously placed in a walkway. The fall caused you to suffer a shattered wrist requiring surgery and a traumatic brain injury that required extensive rehabilitative therapy and prohibited you from returning to work for six months. Your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses add up to $100,000.
Business owners owe patrons a duty of care to keep the premises reasonably safe and free from hazards. When a business owner fails to do so--like the grocery store leaving the crate in the walkway--they can be found negligent and liable for resulting injuries. However, it is possible that you were texting while you were walking and, because you were distracted and looking down at your phone, you were not paying attention to the walkway when you tripped. A jury may then find you 20 percent responsible for the accident and the business owner 80 percent responsible. This means that you should recover $80,000, which includes your total losses minus your percentage of fault.
Injured parties cannot recover, however, if they are 51 percent or more at fault. For this reason, insurance companies often strive to find ways to show that an injured accident victim contributed at least 51 percent to the accident. By demonstrating this, the insurance company can avoid all liability to the injured victim. In such cases, you will have to defend against the allegation that you contributed more fault to the accident than the other party. You can do this by providing evidence of negligent acts of the other party and evidence of any steps you took to stay safe or mitigate the damage in the accident.
Whether you believe you were partially at fault or not in your accident, it is always wise to discuss your situation with a qualified personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can evaluate your case for free and determine whether or not you have a chance at recovery due to another party's negligence. Many injured victims are surprised to learn that they can still obtain some amount of compensation despite contributing to the accident, so you should never hesitate to discuss your situation with a skilled attorney as soon as possible.