Comparative Negligence: The Balance of Blame

Comparative negligence stressed clients

Personal injury cases are not always black and white, potentially complicating the process of recovering the damages you deserve. In many instances, both parties share some degree of fault. This leaves accident victims wondering if they can still recover compensation, even if they are partially to blame for causing the accident.

Understanding comparative negligence is key, and our personal injury lawyers are here to help! Read on to learn more, then contact Hoffman Law Firm to schedule your free consultation.

The Elements of Negligence

In legal terms, negligence is the doctrine that requires people to behave in a way that adheres to their duties and matches what reasonable people would do. There are five elements that must be proven in a personal injury claim to hold the at-fault party accountable for their negligence:

  • A duty of care was owed by the defendant to the plaintiff.
  • The defendant breached their duty by failing to exercise reasonable care. 
  • The defendant’s actions caused the plaintiff’s injury.
  • The defendant’s actions were the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s damages, meaning that the resulting harm was foreseeable.
  • The plaintiff suffered harm for which compensation is available.

Proving these elements of negligence can be difficult, so it is best to entrust your case to an experienced South Carolina personal injury attorney. Here at Hoffman Law Firm, our team will work to maximize the compensation you receive, offering trusted legal representation throughout the process.

Calculating Comparative Negligence in South Carolina 

Comparative negligence helps provide the plaintiff with the compensation needed, while preventing the defendant from paying more damages than they are responsible for. Determining damages requires a proper balance of blame, so the first step is deciding who is responsible and to what extent. Insurance companies and attorneys will investigate the case to calculate each party’s contributions to the accident.

There are two types of comparative negligence laws, including the following:

Pure Comparative Negligence

This law allows the plaintiff to seek compensation no matter how large their percentage of blame. The size of their settlement is then reduced by the amount of fault.

Modified Comparative Negligence

This system is similar, but there is one important difference. It only allows someone to seek damages if their percentage of fault is below a certain threshold. South Carolina abides by this law, only permitting plaintiffs who are less than 51% at fault to recover compensation. For instance, if the accident victim was 25% responsible for their car crash, their damages would be reduced by 25%. 

Hoffman Law Firm Helps Injury Victims Receive the Compensation They Deserve 

Our Charleston personal injury attorneys are proud to serve accident victims here at home. We have handled a wide variety of personal injury claims, including car accidents, truck accidents, dog bites, slip and falls, and more. 

With full compensation as our goal, we strive to recover the damages you deserve – such as medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. Plus, our experienced team is equipped to take on the insurance company, advocating for you at every turn.

Hoffman Law Firm is conveniently located in North Charleston, SC, so if you have been injured, contact a local team you can trust. Schedule your free consultation today!

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