Cooper Law Group | Personal Injury Trial Firm

How does comparative negligence affect your injury claim?

On Behalf of | Jul 4, 2024 | PERSONAL INJURY - Personal Injury

If you were injured in a car accident, a slip-and-fall or any other way that might lead to a personal injury claim, you’ve probably already been cautioned to choose your words carefully if you speak to the other party’s insurance company.

It’s even better if you don’t speak with a potential defendant’s insurer at all. The other party’s insurance company will be looking for ways to shift blame from their client to you and cause you to lose compensation. This happens because of how comparative negligence works. Here’s what you should know:

Comparative negligence can be used to lower your settlement

Under Connecticut’s laws, anybody can bring a personal injury claim against another party so long as they are not 51% or more at fault for their own accident and losses. However, the modified comparative negligence system requires a defendant’s liability to be reduced by whatever percentage of fault is assigned to the plaintiff.

What does that mean in practice? Well, imagine this: You are injured in a car accident and have a claim against the other driver that is worth $100,000 by the time your medical bills, property damage, lost wages and more are added together. However, you weren’t wearing your seatbelt at the time of the wreck, so 25% of the blame for your injuries is attributed to your negligence. That would reduce the total value of your compensation to $75,000.

On your own, it can be very difficult to determine what you can and cannot safely say to an insurance adjuster. The best way to protect your interests when you’ve suffered injuries is to keep some distance between yourself and the insurance company involved. Seeking early legal guidance can be wise.