There are many terms that you will likely experience for the first time when you take on a personal injury lawsuit. Whether you slipped and fell, suffered a Tampa auto accident, or were subjected to a faulty product, when you sue with the hopes of collecting damages from another, you will be exposed to the term “negligence.”
This is not a difficult term to define. It is a synonym of guilt. The trouble comes with trying to decide which party or parties carry guilt, or negligence in the case. Consider, for example, a car accident. The person responsible is not always clear. One party decided to hit the roads without his seat belt fastened. Another driver fails to yield the right-of-way when merging onto the highway and there is an accident that ejects the first driver from his car.
While the majority of the negligence will be placed on the driver who failed to respect the rules of the road, the injured party also carries some guilt because had he been buckled in, his injuries likely would have been less severe.
In other cases, the assigning of negligence is even more difficult. In a slip and fall case, for instance, is it the fault of the employee who failed to clean up a known spill, the owner of the property, the owner of the franchise, or the victim who failed to pay attention to where he stepped that should face the most blame?
It is important to understand how the courts think about negligence and how their decision of who carries what percentage of guilt will impact the awarded damages. These are topics that should be discussed at length with your personal injury attorney. You should be prepared to face the fact that, even as the injured party, you may be partially responsible and that could play a big role in what the courts are willing to award for damages.