If you end up having to take another person to court for a personal injury claim, then it is important to understand how the court may award damages. It does not always happen in a straightforward manner.
The Michigan Legislature explains the state uses a concept called comparative fault to determine how to award damages in a personal injury case.
Comparative fault defined
Comparative fault is where the court weighs each party’s responsibility for an incident to determine the percentage of fault. Then, the court uses the percentages to determine the damage amounts.
Comparative fault in practice
If in your case, the judge determines you held 30% fault, then it would award you 70% of the damages. For example, if the damages are set at $100,000, then you would only receive $70,000. The other person, who is 70% at fault would pay you the damages. If it were reversed, then you would be the one who would have to pay the damages.
You should note that if you are 50% or more at fault, then you will receive no damages. For this reason, it is essential to go into court knowing you can prove you held little to no fault in the situation. The court will use the evidence you present and evidence from law enforcement to help determine if you held any responsibility for the accident or incident. You want to make sure to put together a solid case that uses the available evidence to show the other party was mainly at fault.
Comparative fault may negatively impact your damages in a personal injury case because it will reduce your award if the court finds you at fault in any way.