Comparative fault and your personal injury claim

On Behalf of | Oct 29, 2018 | Personal Injury |

There are a few key elements to any personal injury case. In the state of Michigan, comparative fault is one of those elements.

Before you pursue a case, it can be helpful to understand how it will affect your personal injury claim. Here are a few key facts to be aware of.

What it is

As the name indicates, the courts implement comparative fault by examining the evidence from the case, deciding the percent of fault each party has, and then determining the award amount appropriately. In accordance with Michigan’s comparative fault law, as long as a party is less than 50 percent responsible for the accident, the party may make a claim against the party that holds majority fault.

What it is not

After an auto accident, you may file a common accident claim, or a no-fault claim. It is important to understand that these claims work in very different ways. An accident claim asserts the majority guilt of the other party in causing the accident and seeks damages.

On the other hand, claimants file no-fault claims with their own insurance and do not allocate fault. A no-fault settlement may get you the funds you need quicker; however, in doing so you forfeit your option to hold the other party responsible. Therefore, you cannot pursue additional funds through a comparative fault claim later.

Determining the level of fault

Courts determine levels of fault from the evidence present in the case. For this reason, it is essential to collect as much evidence as possible. Along with having evidence to show the fault of the other party, it would also be helpful to collect evidence that proves your own innocence. By building a strong claim, you may increase the chance of receiving your desired outcome.

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