Understanding Comparative Fault in Missouri
How do Missouri courts proceed when it is found that multiple parties are responsible for a dangerous accident? Who compensates the injury victim? What if the victim themselves partially contributed to their own injury?
In these cases where fault is shared among multiple parties, the courts will turn to comparative fault law to render the most just outcome possible. Comparative fault works by breaking the responsibility for an injury into different percentages based on each's party involvement. That percentage then can then potentially subtract from each party's awarded compensation.
To demonstrate how comparative fault works, let's look at a theoretical example: "Daniel" was a sports fan who attended winter football game at a local stadium. On his way out from the stadium's parking structure, Daniel's car slipped on ice and he hurt his arm on impact. Daniel filed suit to hold the stadium responsible for $10,000 damages, but in court, the stadium's representatives were able to prove that Daniel was also traveling too fast in the parking structure.
The court determined the following in Daniel's case:
- Daniel was 30% responsible for the accident for driving too fast.
- The stadium was 70% responsible for leaving their parking structure icy.
In this case, Daniel's recovery ($10,000) is then reduced by his 30% fault. That means the stadium must pay $7,000 for Daniel's medical bills and other damages.
"Pure Comparative Fault"
One must proceed carefully in cases where more than one party is seeking damages and comparative fault applies. This is because no matter how much at fault the court determines a single party to be, that party can still collect damages as long as they are not 100% responsible. That means that an individual can still recover money following an accident that they are 99% responsible for.
In these cases, it is crucial that the plaintiff retains aggressive and compelling counsel to ensure that the facts take precedence and that the assertions of defendants do not reduce the overall recovery. At DiPasquale Moore, our Kansas City personal injury attorneys understand the challenges and pitfalls that comparative fault can present and are well-versed in favorably navigating those complications. No matter what the circumstances of our clients' claims are, our legal team knows now to aggressively pursue maximum compensation on their behalf.
Contact us today to start exploring your injury suit options.