It seems strange that injury victims of car accidents, slip-and-fall scenarios, situations involving medical malpractice and even defective products would be granted different legal rights in different states. However, that is the way things work in the U.S.
In a small fraction of states, if an injury victim was in any way responsible for their own harm, they cannot sue others who may have been 99% responsible for what happened to them. In most states, injury victims can pursue compensation against other potentially liable parties if they were less than 50% or 51% (depending on the state) to blame for their own harm.
What’s Louisiana’s approach?
The state of Louisiana honors a pure comparative negligence standard concerning the joint liability of victims and other negligent, reckless and/or intentionally dangerous parties. This means that injury victims of car and truck accidents, premises liability cases and a host of other personal injury matters are empowered to seek compensation against others even if they were more than 50% at fault for what happened to them.
This doesn’t mean that it is a good idea to file a lawsuit against another party who was only 5% responsible for a victim’s harm, as the victim is only eligible to seek 5% of the value of their case accordingly. But, even an 80/20 case could be worth pursuing if the overall value of the case is high enough.
Understanding that Louisiana employs the broadest standard available concerning joint liability can make it easier for accident injury victims to feel confident about exploring their legal options. Because “some compensation” (and potentially a significant amount of it) is far better than “no compensation,” partially-liable victims have nothing to lose by connecting with a lawyer about the possibility of pursuing legal action.