WHAT IS COMPARATIVE FAULT?

If an injured party brings a claim or lawsuit arising from the negligence or fault of another, if the case proceeds to trial, the jury may be required to assess the respective percentages of fault of the involved parties, if the Defendant(s) have not admitted to being entirely at fault.

Minnesota’s Comparative Fault statute, Minn. Stat. 604.01, subd. 1a, reads,

Contributory fault does not bar recovery in an action by any person or the person’s legal representative to recover damages for fault resulting in death, in injury to person or property, or in economic loss, if the contributory fault was not greater than the fault of the person against whom recovery is sought, but any damages allowed must be diminished in proportion to the amount of fault attributable to the person recovering. The court may, and when requested by any party shall, direct the jury to find separate special verdicts determining the amount of damages and the percentage of fault attributable to each party and the court shall then reduce the amount of damages in proportion to the amount of fault attributable to the person recovering.

An example of how the statute works, is that if the jury comes back and finds that both the Plaintiff and Defendant are 50% at fault for the happening of an automobile collision, the Plaintiff’s awarded damages are to be reduced by 50%. If the jury found the Plaintiff to be damaged in the amount of $100,000.00, the Plaintiff would receive $50,000.00 after the comparative fault deduction is applied.

Another example is that if the Plaintiff is 51% at fault for the collision and Defendant is 49% at fault, the Plaintiff’s negligence exceeds that of the Defendant and the Plaintiff, therefore, does not receive any compensation for his or her damages.

It should be kept in mind that personal injury case values are determined based upon evaluations of both damages and fault.

Richard O’Dea of the O’Dea Law Firm has extensive experience evaluating personal injury cases. Call for a free initial consultation.

Disclaimer: The information presented in this blog article is for informational use only. The information presented in this blog does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.


Contact A St. Paul Personal Injury Lawyer

Over 24 years Richard D. O’Dea of O’Dea Law Firm, LLC. has handled hundreds of personal injury cases in the Twin Cities, and throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. Contact Rich O’Dea today to discuss your Minnesota or Wisconsin Personal Injury case at (651) 407-5155.