What happens if someone sues me or my business as a result of an injury, but they are partially at fault?

By Adam Keilen

Al is driving above the speed limit. Bob runs a red light, and smashes into Al. Al suffers serious injuries as a result of the automobile accident. Al sues Bob. At trial, it is determined that Al was 20% at fault, and Bob was 80% at fault. The damages are $100,000.

Michigan’s Comparative Negligence Rule. Under Michigan law, MCL § 600.2959 – comparative fault in tort or personal injury, “modified comparative fault” is used to resolve cases in which the injured party is partially at fault. In other words, damages are reduced if an injured party is found to share the blame. If the injured party is found to be 50% or more at fault, there are no damages.

In plain English. In the scenario above, the total damages are $100,000, so applying Michigan’s Comparative Negligence Rule, Al only gets $80,000 because he was 20% at fault. If Al was 50% or more at fault, Al’s damages are eliminated entirely. MCL § 600.2959

The take away. If someone sues you for an injury, their damages can be reduced in proportion to their fault, and if they are found to be 50% or more at fault, there are no damages.