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Whose Fault Is It Anyway?

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When you are injured due to another person’s fault, our state laws allow you to recover for those injuries. Your recovery may include the cost of your medical treatment, your lost wages if you miss work, and for pain and suffering. There are many other losses you may recover as well, but that’s a subject for a different article or for a free consultation at our office with our Everett and Seattle attorneys.

But what happens if your injury is caused both by your own fault and the fault of somebody else? Are you out of luck if you are partly responsible for the accident that caused your injuries? Decades ago the answer was an inflexible, difficult “yes.” That is, the law previously prevented you from making a claim against someone if you were only 1% at fault.

However, that isn’t the case in our state anymore. Now, the law and the courts take a more reasoned approach and everyone is held responsible only for their own actions and negligence. What does this mean? Let’s say you are injured in a car accident and you were a little bit at fault for the collision (maybe, 10%) and the person who injures you is mostly at fault (90%) for the collision. The law says that you get to make a claim against the person who injured you due to their negligence. Your recovery from that person will be 90% of the full value of your claim. For example, if your losses include $10,000.00 for medical bills and $20,000.00 for your pain and suffering for a total value of $30,000.00, then you would be able to recover 90% of $30,000.00 for your injuries. In this example, you could still get $27,000.00.

The important thing for you to keep in mind is that the law holds everyone responsible for their own negligent actions. If you are injured because of the negligence of another but are worried that you also may have contributed to the accident, please contact our office and we would be happy to help you and let you know what the law says.

An article by Jon Winemiller of the Walthew Law Firm.

Jon Winemiller is a partner at The Walthew Law Firm.  He exclusively represents injured and disabled people in Workers’ Compensation, Personal Injury, and Social Security Disability claims.

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