In legal terms, a tort is an action that causes harm to another party. Tort law is the aspect of the legal system that helps injured parties recover damages from someone causing harm. Recognizing that reality is complicated, the Kentucky court has created a procedure that bases compensation on the extent of fault for a given party.
A two-step process
During a tort action proceeding with or without a jury, the court carries out a two-step process to determine appropriate compensation for the injured party. In the first step, the court calculates the full amount of damages the injured party is due without considering fault. This list may include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Lost property
The second step determines the extent of fault assigned to all the parties involved in the situation. The court will consider the details of the incident and the conduct of the parties in making its calculation. In a premises liability case, if the plaintiff was injured while trespassing on the defendant’s property, the court may acknowledge that the plaintiff is partially to blame for the injury.
Understanding the court’s ruling
Kentucky law obligates the court to provide a full report of its fault assessment. From there, it awards compensation based on the percentage of the fault it assigns. If the court determines that a party is 70% to blame for an injury, the court can require the defendant to pay 70% of the total compensation to the plaintiff.
A unique legal environment
By avoiding all-or-nothing rulings, lawyers in tort actions may employ a different strategy than in other states. Instead of proving complete guilt or innocence, they can try to minimize the amount of fault that falls on their clients, minimizing the financial penalty.
If you are on either side of a tort action, it is critical that you work with an experienced attorney. Adopting an appropriate legal strategy may improve your chance of a favorable ruling.