It is always a good idea to wear your seatbelt, and to wear it properly. The simple fact is that seatbelts can save lives, but even if you do all you are supposed to do, an accident can still happen. Accidents are unpredictable, as are the severity of the injuries associated with being in a wreck. Some people wonder about the possibility of being denied reimbursement if they contributed in any way to the accident, or if their award will be reduced. The concept is referred to as contributory negligence, and it is a theory of law that prevents a party from fully recovering if they contributed to their own injuries.
In Minnesota, the rule of law followed is that of a modified comparative negligence doctrine. It works like this:
- The negligence of each party is “compared” to the total act.
- If the proportion of fault attributable to your actions is greater than the combined negligence, recovery from the other party is not allowed.
- If your level of fault does not exceed the combined total, your recovery is reduced by the amount of negligence assigned to your actions.
In real life situations application of this rule of law involves many complex layers. An act as minor as failing to wear a seat belt will likely not result in a significant reduction in what you are entitled to receive. On the other hand, if you were texting and driving or driving under the influence your recovery may be barred entirely, even if your actions were not the direct cause of the accident. To figure out who is responsible for what, a complete analysis of the case must be made. For more information about the levels of negligence, call our office and speak with an experienced personal injury attorney.
If you have been hurt in an accident and the other side is claiming part of the accident is due to your actions, call our office to learn your options. Let an experienced attorney help you figure what is best for you. Call a Bloomington, Minnesota personal injury attorney today.