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Understanding Comparative Fault in BC and Washington: Considerations for Cross-Border Injury Claims

When accidents happen, there is not always one person to blame. When comparative fault is found, it means that both parties involved in an incident are deemed to have some amount of responsibility for it. This can change the outcome of a claim drastically. When pursuing an injury claim or lawsuit, it is important to be aware of how comparative fault may affect your case.

Although comparative fault functions similarly in British Columbia and Washington, working with an experienced cross-border injury lawyer can help you feel confident when pursuing your claim. To understand how comparative fault may affect your settlement or trial, contact our lawyers at Border Solutions Law Group today for your free initial consultation.

What is Comparative Fault?

Comparative fault is a defence against liability claims employed when both or all parties involved in an accident are found to have partial responsibility for the outcome. During personal injury claims, comparative fault is normally used to suggest that the claimant is comparatively at fault for some portion of their injuries. For example, if you were to slip and fall on another person’s property, they may argue that you should have been paying more attention to where you were walking. This tactic may serve to place a portion of responsibility for your injuries on you.

A judge or jury can apportion responsibility for an accident however they see fit if they find comparative fault to be present in a case. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 during an injury trial but the jury finds you were 25% comparatively at fault for the incident, you may only collect $75,000.

Whether a claimant is found to be at comparative fault for an accident is determined on a case-by-case basis. The type of accident, the claimant, the defendant, and insurance providers can influence rulings. For assistance pursuing a claim if you suspect more than one person is to blame for an accident, contact our personal injury lawyers at Border Solutions Law Group today.

Is Comparative Fault the Same in British Columbia and Washington?

In both British Columbia and Washington State, the body of common law used to determine comparative fault is the same. This means that comparative fault is applied equally in both jurisdictions, regardless of where a cross-border injury occurred. As a result, comparative fault may affect the outcome of your claim, no matter where you were injured.

Comparative Fault’s Role in Claims, Settlements, and Trials

When pursuing a cross-border injury claim, you may want to consider how likely comparative fault is to affect its outcome. This information may influence whether you decide to settle your claim outside of court or pursue a trial.

When lawyers assess the value of a personal injury claim, they will consider whether their client had any fault in the accident that occurred. If there is a risk that a judge or jury may find you to be partially responsible for an accident, your lawyer may recommend that you settle outside of court to maximize your earnings. This is because an initial settlement offered by a defendant may be more valuable than a settlement that is divided up when a court finds you to be comparatively at fault for an accident.

Whether a claim is settled privately or goes to court can be decided by the claimant. It may be beneficial to consider the expenses you have incurred due to your injury or legal fees when making this decision. It is also important to assess how long you are willing to litigate, as court cases can be lengthy. With the help of a personal injury lawyer, you can assess the amount of risk you are comfortable with and make the best decision for yourself.

Contact Our Team of Cross-Border Injury Lawyers Today

When there is a risk that you may be partially responsible for an accident, understanding how comparative fault can affect your case is important. This is especially true when deciding whether to settle or pursue your claim in court. Our cross-border injury lawyers at Border Solutions Law Group can help you assess the risk of comparative fault in your case and maximize the outcome of your claim. If you have been injured across the border and want to explore your options, schedule a free initial consultation with our team today.

Disclaimer: For specific legal advice on your cross-border personal injury matter, please consult with a personal injury lawyer. The content in this article is not intended to act as legal advice and is instead intended to act as a general overview of a legal topic.