Can I still get $$ if I am 50% at fault?

Can I still get money in my injury case if I am 50% at fault?
Yes you can. In fact Pittsburgh slip and fall and auto accident attorney Bernie Tully says you most certainly can! But there are a couple ideas to understand about it.
In short welcome to the world of comparative negligence.
What that means is that as long as you are not greater than 50% at fault you can still get $$ for your injury case.
Normally this happens in the area of slip and fall or trip and fall cases. What happens is a person like you is seriously injured in a fall case. Maybe you fell on a sidewalk pavement or a pavement area that is higher than the rest of the sidewalk.
The jury has to decide whether the defendant is at fault.
More importantly they have to decide what percentage of fault the defendant is assigned in order for you to get $$ in the case.

Suppose in that example the jury determines that yes the sidewalk area where you fell was in bad shape and the defendant should have fixed it.
In that example they assign a percentage of fault to the defendant. However that same jury may say well the injured plaintiff was not really paying attention like he or she should have. Therefore we think that the plaintiff or injured person bears 50% responsibility also.
In that example you can still make a recovery because you are not greater than 50% at fault.
But here’s where it gets a little tricky.
The judge then has to reduce the amount of your negligence by the percentage the jury tags you with.
If the jury awards you $100,000 for your injuries because you had to have knee back or neck surgery for example and you were found to be 50% at fault, guess what happens?
That’s right your total recovery in that example is $50,000. Can you see why?
The reason is the judge would then reduce the award by your percentage of responsibility or negligence.

Since the jury found you 50% at fault that would knock off half of the hundred thousand dollar award.
That is why you would be given $50,000 for your injuries.

This idea of comparative negligence also applies in car accident cases. Not in a rear-ended case for example because usually the defendant will admit that they are 100% responsible for rear-ending you.
After all they should be paying attention.

However what about the example of 2 cars going through the intersection and one claims the light was green and the other claims the light was red for the injured party.

What happens in that situation?
What often happens in my experience as a personal injury lawyer is that the jury assigns some percentage of responsibility to both sides or both drivers.

Again if the jury finds you 25% at fault and your injuries because of surgery and other things is $100,000 dollars then that means you would be given $75,000 for your recovery.
The judge would reduce the hundred thousand dollar award by 25% which the jury assigned as your responsibility. That is how you arrive at $75,000 as your final award.
Understand how the legal system works with comparative negligence?
Of course the best kind accident if you have to be in one is one where you are 0% at fault.
In that case the judge does not take any percentage of the award off of the top. The recovery you receive is yours to keep.
Lastly, although it is uncommon, a jury could find the defendant in a slip and fall injury case to be hundred percent at fault.
If you were in a fast food restaurant and there was liquid or ice that was on the floor for several hours and the defendant did not clean it up, they could be responsible for  100% percent of your injuries.
Slip and fall cases are an area the law that we have been doing for over 35 years.
If you have any questions about this idea of comparative negligence please feel free to call me at 1-800-518-0050 to discuss it.
We are here to help.
Bernie Tully Esq.