Can You Still File a Personal Injury Claim if You Were Slightly at Fault?

Can You Still File a Personal Injury Claim if You Were Slightly at Fault?

Personal injury claims don’t just mean auto accidents. There are many types of injuries that result in personal injury claims. With nearly 40 million physician office visits for unintentional injuries in the United States each year and 24.5 million emergency room visits each year, it is no wonder that there are thousands of personal injury claims filed across the country.

If you’ve been injured at work, at home or in your car, your first thought might not be about who was at fault. Your first thought probably has to do with getting proper medical treatment so that you can get on with your life. You may also be wondering if you even have a personal injury claim.

What Does Personal Injury Law Include?

Personal injury law is the area of the law that covers injury and harm to property and your person when someone else either acts negligently or fails to act. Recovering money from a personal injury claim usually involves insurance companies, hospitals and, sometimes, lawyers. With over 400,000 personal injury claims filed each year in the United States, claims come from a variety of accidents. These include things like car accidents, medical malpractice and products liability.

Do I Really Need a Lawyer?

Even though you aren’t legally required to hire a personal injury lawyer, navigating complicated laws can slow down the process or even hinder your ability to recover money after your injuries. This is even more true when you may have some degree of fault. You might think that if the accident was partly your fault, you are not able to recover compensation for your injuries. Fortunately, this isn’t always the case. Your recovery can depend on a variety of factors.

Lawyers understand nuances in the law like statutes of limitations, liability and damages. A personal injury lawyer can help you determine:

  • An amount to compensate you for your injuries
  • Proper settlement negotiations
  • Figuring out the proper parties to include in a claim

Most of the time, personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency basis. This means they only get paid if they recover money for their client. The money can come from an out-of-court settlement or a jury award if the case goes to trial. A contingency fee is determined by taking a percentage of the amount the lawyer recovers for a client, usually about ⅓ of the settlement.

What Does Personal Injury Law Include

What If the Accident Was My Fault?

If part of the accident was your fault, you might still be able to recover money to compensate you for damages to your body or your personal property. However, the amount of damages you can recover might depend on the state in which you live. A few states have what is called a contributory negligence rule.

Contributory negligence rules prohibit victims from recovering damages if they were at fault in an accident. Only a few states — Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia — and the District of Columbia use a contributory negligence rule.

In other states, even if you were partly at fault, you can still recover damages. Most of the time, the threshold is 50-51% at fault. In other words, if you were more than 50-51% at fault in an accident, you may not be able to recover damages.

Lastly, there are a few states that allow a victim to recover damages as long the accident was not wholly their fault. In these types of personal injury cases, the victim’s damages will be proportionate to the defendant’s degree of fault.

Many of the laws regarding fault can be complicated to understand. Therefore, it is advisable to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer in your state before attempting to recover money from a personal injury accident.

McManes Law Guides You Through Your Personal Injury Case

Injuries and accidents happen. In a brief moment, your entire life can change. Regardless of fault, it is natural that you are worried about what to do after your accident. You may not know where to look for help. Whether your injury happens on the job, at home or somewhere else, you’ll be less anxious with a personal injury attorney on your side. The lawyers at McManes Law understand personal injury law and can help guide you through the process.

Don’t be intimidated — at McManes Law, we have decades of experience on our side. To learn more about our personal injury attorneys and how we can help you, please schedule your free consultation today by calling 770-645-8801.

Skip McManes

An attorney dedicated to defending the injured worker, Skip McManes has practiced law for over two decades. After briefly serving as an insurance defense lawyer and seeing their unethical ways, Skip decided he had to fight against the insurance companies to protect his fellow workers. A graduate of Johnson High in Gainesville and the University of Georgia, where he earned a degree in finance and a law degree, Skip is still a fierce Bulldogs fan. He currently lives in Alpharetta, Georgia with his wife of over 20 years and his four children.

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