Everyone knows that the victim of an accident can sue the responsible party to recover for the costs of their medical bills, property damage and more. But often, accidents aren’t this straightforward, and it’s not as easy to determine who is at fault for the accident. If your own actions contributed to your injuries, even a little bit, can you still bring a lawsuit against the negligent party and recover for your damages?
Kentucky’s contributory negligence law
Every state has different rules concerning the negligence of the plaintiff (the person who brings the lawsuit). In Kentucky, the legislature has established the contributory negligence standard, which is what all courts in Kentucky will follow for your personal injury lawsuit.
Under contributory negligence, the court will first determine how much of the total responsibility for the accident each party to the suit has. This includes you as the plaintiff, all of the people you are suing, and anyone else who may have contributed to the accident.
Reduction of recovery
Then, if you win your lawsuit against the responsible party, the court will reduce your total possible recovery by an amount proportional to your percentage of responsibility for the accident.
For example, if you win your lawsuit, and you would normally be entitled to $30,000 in damages, but the court found that you were 50% at fault for your own injuries, then the court will reduce your total recovery by 50% and you will only be able to recover $15,000.
Just because you were partially responsible for your accident doesn’t mean that you should have no opportunity to recover for your injuries and property damage. Kentucky’s laws still allow you to sue to recover what the negligent party owes you, even if you were partially responsible too.