What If My Child Was Partially at Fault for Causing Injury or Death – Can I Still Sue?

Some accidents have multiple causes. If your child played a
role in causing the accident that injured him or her, you’re probably wondering
if you still have the right to pursue damages from the other party who is at
fault. The answer to this question depends on a concept we call “comparative
negligence.”

The
Meaning of Comparative Negligence

Comparative negligence refers to
accidents in which multiple parties are partially responsible for the injuries
that occurred. In the instance in which your child’s actions contributed to the
accident that caused his or her injuries, your ability to recover compensation
depends upon the laws of your state. In New Jersey and Pennsylvania, you can
pursue a personal injury claim as long as your or your child’s negligence is
not greater than 50 percent. That means the other party must be at least half
at fault for the accident.

Examples
of Cases with Comparative Negligence

Among the most common instances
of comparative negligence we see are slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents.
For example, if your child was walking down a flight of icy steps but chose not
to use the handrail, both the property owner and your child may be found partially
at fault for the injuries that resulted from the fall. Because the property
owner failed to keep the stairway safe for people to walk, he or she may be at
least 50 percent at fault for the accident, and you may be able to receive
compensation.

Similar rules of comparative
negligence may apply if your child neglected to pay attention and was texting
while walking and slipped on a wet floor. If your child exited a store and
chose to walk through a path worn in the grass by other patrons rather than
using a sidewalk intended for customer use, and tripped on a safety hazard on
that path, this may be a case of comparative negligence. Other instances of
comparative negligence can occur when accidents involve multiple drivers who
each violate traffic safety laws or a victim of any age misusing equipment
provided by a property owner or manager. Without knowing the details of your
situation, it’s hard to say for sure whether or not you have a claim. For the
most complete advice, call the New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Console & Hollawell for a free consultation to discuss your case.

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Richard P. Console, Jr.

Licensed since 1993

Member at firm Console and Associates P.C.

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