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How comparative fault can affect Louisiana compensation claims

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2024 | Civil Law

Liability is a confusing concept. Many people have a black-and-white approach to fault and financial liability when evaluating a situation. When someone gets hurt, the injured person may point the finger elsewhere and then demand compensation from the party they blame for their injuries.

Insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits often involve one party declaring that another is completely to blame for their injuries. The person or business accused of causing someone’s injuries through negligence or misconduct could end up financially responsible for medical bills, property damage expenses and years of lost wages. Oftentimes, businesses and people accused of causing injuries settle and pay the other party what they request, even if there are questions about liability.

However, there are ways to mitigate some of the liability that comes with a personal injury lawsuit or sizable insurance claim. The concept of comparative fault applies to compensation claims in Louisiana and can diminish how much one party stands to lose because of injuries suffered by someone else.

What is comparative fault?

Comparative fault is a legal concept exploring how more than one party could have a degree of blame for an injury. In a car crash scenario, for example, the driver who didn’t stop at a four-way stop or a red light may be the party primarily liable for the crash that occurred. However, if they struck a vehicle that didn’t have turn signals on, the other motorists might also have a degree of responsibility.

Comparative fault is the percentage of personal responsibility that each party has for an incident. If a personal injury lawsuit goes to civil court in Louisiana, the defendant could raise a claim of comparative fault to reduce their financial losses. The courts then determine what percentage of fault each party has. The final award granted to the plaintiff reflects their degree of fault. The courts diminish the award based on their personal contributions or comparative fault for the situation.

Evidence of unsafe conduct, negligence or rule-breaking could allow one party who is facing a personal injury lawsuit or large insurance claim to defend against compensation claims by raising questions about comparative fault. As such, learning more about the liability rules that apply in Louisiana can be beneficial for those blamed for the economic losses of others.