In Pennsylvania, the court follows a rule of comparative negligence. This means the responsibility of each party for the accident is taken into account.
Whether negotiating with an insurance company or standing before a jury, the job of a personal injury attorney is to prove the following:
* Duty: The defendants had a duty, or standard of care.
* Breach: The defendant breached that standard of care.
* Cause: The breach of duty was the cause of injury. But for the breach of the duty, the accident would not have occurred.
* Damage: The accident led to actual damages.
During settlement discussions or at trial, your attorney argues that the amount you were at fault does not exceed the negligence of the other party. An insurance settlement or a jury verdict is reduced by the amount you are found negligent. For example, if you are found 10 percent responsible for a car accident, your overall injury compensation is reduced by 10 percent to account for your negligence.
It is common that people are partially negligent in a personal injury matter.