Is Pennsylvania a Comparative Negligence State?
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    Is Pennsylvania a Comparative Negligence State?

    As a victim in Pennsylvania, understanding comparative fault laws and how they might impact you may be important for your recovery against a negligent party.

    In Pennsylvania, victims found to be partially at fault for an accident will see their jury awards reduced in proportion to their liability. Various acts might constitute contributory negligence, such as speeding at the time of an accident, even if the other driver was more at fault for the crash. To lower the chance that Pennsylvania’s comparative fault laws impact you, our lawyers will gather evidence of the defendant’s negligence and help you file your claim on time. Even if your case appears cut and dry, do not underestimate the impact comparative fault laws might have on your lawsuit if you do not prepare for the potential that the defendant will cite your involvement in the accident as the cause of your injuries.

    For a free and confidential case assessment from The Reiff Law Firm, call our Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers now at (215) 709-6940.

    What Are Pennsylvania’s Comparative Negligence Laws?

    Pennsylvania is a modified comparative fault state. This means that victims found to be somewhat at fault for their injuries might recover less compensation than what they anticipated. Understanding Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence laws will be important so that you can prepare a strong case for recovery.

    According to 42 Pa.C.S. § 7102(a), a plaintiff’s contributory negligence will not bar them from recovery, provided they are not more at fault for their injuries than the defendant or defendants involved in the claim. Furthermore, if a jury finds them to be partially negligent, a victim’s damages can be reduced proportionally to their percentage of fault.

    For example, if the defendant is found to be 75% at fault for your injuries and you are found to be 25% at fault, your jury award would be reduced by 25%. This could leave you without full compensation for all economic and non-economic damages related to your injuries. Our lawyers will aim to undermine any arguments from the defendant that you contributed to the incident in question in Pennsylvania.

    Examples of Comparative Negligence in Pennsylvania

    Comparative negligence might amount to a simple mistake that might have contributed to, but did not ultimately cause, the accident in question. We can explain common instances of comparative negligence so that you can determine whether or not such laws might impact your case in Pennsylvania.

    Certain actions constitute contributory negligence, and some do not. For example, a victim’s failure to wear a seat belt at the time of a car accident will not be considered contributory negligence in Pennsylvania. However, driving over the speed limit might be.

    Comparative negligence might play more heavily in certain types of cases, like those stemming from motorcycle accidents. Because of stereotypes and presumptions about motorcycle riders, it might be assumed that they also acted negligently, contributing to the accident in question. Regardless of the type of accident you were injured in, it will be important to submit compelling evidence of fault against the defendant in case they attempt to argue that your actions contributed to or caused the accident in Pennsylvania.

    How to Handle Pennsylvania’s Comparative Negligence Laws

    Suppose the defendant in your lawsuit tries to use your actions against you in their defense. In that case, we can use the evidence we have prepared to undermine such assertions and ensure you recover full compensation for your injuries.

    File Quickly

    One of the best ways to get ahead of a defendant following an accident in Pennsylvania is to file quickly. While 42 Pa.C.S. § 5524 states that victims have three years to sue for injury, waiting that long to file could give the defendant more opportunity to claim you contributed to the accident. Once we have a thorough understanding of the extent of your injuries and damages, we can help you file your claim with the court. When victims wait to sue, it might appear as though their injuries are unrelated to the defendant’s actions or that they do not require compensation.

    Prove the Elements of Fault

    In injury claims, victims must prove that defendants owed them a duty of care and breached it. They must also prove that the defendant’s breach caused their injuries and damages. Doing this can allow you to meet the standard of proof in your case and show that the defendant alone is liable for your injuries. This will require evidence of negligence, such as eyewitness statements, photographs, surveillance footage, and more. Prioritizing evidence collection will be important, as some proof might be lost or destroyed as time passes.

    Which Victims Should Be Aware of Pennsylvania’s Comparative Negligence Laws?

    All injury victims should familiarize themselves with Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence laws. Otherwise, they might miss out on crucial compensation from negligent parties.

    You should never expect a negligent party to willingly accept fault for your injuries without putting up a fight. Even if the evidence clearly points to the defendant as the party responsible for your damages, they might attempt to argue that you also contributed to the accident. Anticipating these arguments and making plans regarding how best to undermine them can give you the best chance of a full financial recovery after an accident in Pennsylvania.

    Comparative negligence might play into various types of personal injury cases, including motor vehicle accidents, pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents, workplace accidents, and many more. After any accident that causes you injury in Pennsylvania, be careful what you say to the negligent party. Do not apologize or go over what happened with them. Instead, simply report the incident, exchange any necessary information, and allow our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers to handle further communications. Saying you are sorry or something of a similar nature might be misconstrued as you accepting partial or whole fault for the accident, putting your claim in jeopardy.

    Call Our Pennsylvania Lawyers About Your Injury Claim Today

    Call The Reiff Law Firm’s Conshohocken personal injury lawyers at (215) 709-6940 to get a free case review today.

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