man taking a picture of damages after an accidentAfter a car accident, pursuing the compensation you need becomes one of your top priorities. However, navigating the process following a crash can seem complex, and you may be unsure of what your rights are to recover the damages you experienced as a result of the crash.

In Michigan, there is an area of personal injury law that you need to know about: comparative fault. Under the comparative negligence rules, certain factors may reduce your compensation, or it can make you ineligible to receive compensation entirely. Here’s how it works:

Michigan law looks at the total percentage of fault each side contributes to the cause of a severe crash. Each party is assigned a specific percentage, and if the injured party is determined to be more than 50% at fault for the accident, he or she is not able to file for compensation.

As such, if you suffer an injury in an accident and you proceed to file a claim. You’re determined to have been negligent at the time of the crash. Even if the other driver was also negligent, if you are shown to be the more negligent party, you may not receive damages because you contributed to more than 50% of the accident.

Michigan’s comparative fault law does not apply for claims for Michigan No-Fault benefits, such as payment of wage loss, medical expenses, attendant care services or replacement services. Regardless of fault, those benefits are available to auto accident victims.

If you are the plaintiff in a personal injury case after a lawsuit, you can still recover damages if you are less than 50% at fault. However, the courts will reduce your total compensation based on the percentage of the accident for which you were at fault.

For example, if you’re in a crash and the total damages amount to $100,000. You are determined to have contributed to 30% of the negligence. Your recovery would be reduced to $70,000 because of your actions. You’d still be able to receive compensation, but because you were also negligent, it would not be as much as you initially thought.