How Comparative Negligence Affects Your Slip and Fall Case
You might already know that Nevada law provides a way for victims to receive compensation when they cause an accident. The person who causes an accident by acting negligently must pay the victims for the damage that they create.
But what happens when more than one person is at fault for an accident? When more than one person is at fault for an accident, it’s called comparative negligence. You will likely need to work with your personal injury firm to determine the implications of comparative negligence in your case. Here’s how comparative negligence can impact your slip and fall case.
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Understanding Comparative Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case
Comparative negligence in a slip and fall case is the idea that an accident may be more than one person’s fault. For example, you might slip and fall on a spill on the floor of a business. But you may not have used a hand railing that was available. You may have gotten hurt because of a falling object, but you may have avoided warning signs that directed customers to stay out of the area.
An accident can have more than one cause. There may be multiple parties who act negligently in a way that results in an accident. When multiple negligent actors are to blame, comparative negligence applies to determine how to apportion legal fault for the accident.
Nevada’s Comparative Negligence Laws: Nevada Revised Statute 41.141
The rules to determine comparative negligence in Nevada are written in Nevada Revised Statute 41.141. The law says that the defense may assert comparative negligence as a defense to a claim if they believe that the other side may be partially to blame for the accident. Even if you’re partially to blame for an accident, you can still recover for your losses.
The law says that you can recover for a portion of your losses as long as you’re not more than 50 percent to blame for the accident. For example, if you’re 49 percent to blame and the other side is 51 percent to blame, you can still bring your claim for recovery. If you’re 40 percent to blame and two other defendants are each 30 percent to blame, you can still recover for some of your losses because you’re not more than 50 percent to blame. As long as you’re not more than 50 percent at fault, you can look to other negligent actors to compensate you for a portion of your losses.
How Much Can I Recover If I’m Partially to Blame?
The amount that you recover for your losses depends on your percentage of fault. The jury calculates your total damages and then determines the percent of fault that you have for the accident. The court reduces your recovery by the percentage of responsibility that the jury assigns.
For example, you have a legal claim. The jury awards you $50,000 in damages. But, they say that you’re 10 percent to blame for the accident. The court reduces your damages by 10 percent of $50,000 or $5,000. You recover $45,000 for your claim.
In another example, the jury awards you $50,000 in damages. But they say that you’re 60 percent to blame. In that case, you don’t recover anything at all, because the jury says that you’re more than 50 percent to blame.
How Do I Build My Case If Comparative Negligence May Be an Issue?
It’s the jury that decides your percentage of fault in a comparative negligence case. The jury takes all of the evidence into account, and they assign a percentage of fault to each party. It’s up to you to present the evidence to the jury.
The jury examines the actions of every party involved. You can rely on witness testimony, expert analysis, and skillful arguments from your legal team to show the jury how the other parties should be held responsible for negligence in your accident claim.
How Do I Build My Case If Comparative Negligence May Be an Issue?
When comparative negligence may be an issue in your case, it’s essential to gather the evidence that you need to prove your claim. You may revisit the scene of the accident to collect photographs of the scene. You may examine debris and physical evidence like pieces of a broken handrail or a store display.
Witnesses can offer helpful insight. You may need accident or medical experts to help the jury piece it all together. Our experienced attorneys can help you determine what evidence you need to build your case.
How Does Comparative Negligence Impact the Compensation That I Receive?
If comparative negligence is an issue, it can make a difference in the result of your case. Comparative negligence can create uncertainty in the case. You may not know how the jury is going to decide your case given that comparative negligence is a question.
Comparative negligence can make a case more likely to settle before trial. It can also make a case less likely to settle before trial. If you’re not sure what the jury might do if the case goes to trial, it can make the parties more motivated to resolve the case on their own terms through a settlement. Then, they’re not left to wonder what the jury might decide.
On the other hand, if comparative negligence is a question in the case, both of the parties might believe that their side of the case has the strongest merit. They might think that the only way to receive justice is by taking the case to trial. Comparative negligence creates uncertainty in any accident case. An experienced attorney can help you examine your case to determine how comparative negligence might impact the claim.
Our Slip and Fall Attorneys in Las Vegas
If you’re hurt in a slip and fall accident, we can help you address comparative negligence questions that might arise. Our team can help you fight against claims of comparative negligence. We work to determine how issues of comparative negligence might impact your claim so that you can address your case in the best way possible. Contact our team for a no-obligation consultation about your claim.
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Adam S. Kutner
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With more than 31 years of experience fighting for victims of personal injury in the Las Vegas valley, Attorney Adam S. Kutner knows his way around the Nevada court system and how to get clients their settlement promptly and trouble-free.
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