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When you file a personal injury lawsuit against another person or company, you will likely be entitled to damages if the defendant was completely at fault in an accident.

But what happens if both parties share blame for an accident?

The state of Nevada has fashioned its negligence laws to accommodate these types of situations. It’s called “comparative negligence.” While the actual legislation is complex, here are its two basic tenets:

  • The party who is more to blame for an accident cannot receive damages from the other party.
  • A plaintiff who shares partial blame for an accident will see his or her damages reduced in proportion to the amount of fault.

For instance, if a man were involved in an accident where he sustained $10,000 worth of property and injury damages but was determined by the courts to be 30 percent at fault, he would only receive $7,000 ($10,000 minus 30 percent of $10,000) in compensation from the defendant.

This situation arises more than you might think. Here are some potential scenarios where an injured party might be partially at fault for an accident.

  • A woman driving without her lights on at dusk is rear-ended on a Las Vegas street.
  • At a Green Valley warehouse store, a man walks into an area clearly marked “Authorized Personnel Only” and is injured when pallets of stored merchandise fall on top of him.
  • A teenager riding a skateboard is struck by a car in a Boulder City parking lot which is clearly marked with signs saying “No Skateboarding Allowed.”

Every case is different, so you should contact a qualified personal injury lawyer after an accident to see if you are entitled to compensation – even if you might be partially responsible.