Posted on: 13 February 2023
Were you in a car accident in a state that has comparative negligence laws, and you're not sure what that means? If so, you'll definitely want to know more about what comparative negligence means.
Accidents Are Not Always One Person's Fault
An accident is not always crystal clear as to who is at fault. Even if there is an accident where one person is clearly at fault for causing the accident, they may not have 100% of the fault. Would it be fair for that person to pay for 100% of the damages if they were not 100% at fault? That is where comparative negligence comes into play.
Parties Are Assigned A Percentage Of The Fault
An injury lawsuit with comparative negligence laws is going to assign each party a percentage of fault. If the defendant is found to be 100% responsible then they would have to pay for 100% of the damage that was caused by the accident. However, an accident where someone was found to be 75% at fault will result in only paying 75% of the damages. This means that your compensation can drastically go down as the defendant proves that you are partially at fault for causing the accident.
Injury Lawsuits Can Be Appealed If You Feel Comparative Negligence Is Wrong
If your lawsuit does go to trial and a judge or jury finds the defendant less than 100% responsible for the accident, know that you are not completely out of luck with getting the compensation you deserve. You always have the right to appeal the decision — even if you won the case — if you feel like the defendant had a bigger percentage of responsibility than was decided in the trial.
Comparative Negligence Can Be Used With Multiple Parties
One of the benefits of comparative negligence laws for a defendant is that the fault can be spread across multiple parties. If one person is not fully responsible for causing the accident, then they only need to pay for their fair share of the injuries that were caused. The other responsible party would pay for the damages that they caused as well.
Lawsuits Can Be Filed In Comparative Negligence States
If you are the victim of an accident in a state where there are contributory negligence laws, meaning that the defendant must be 100% responsible for you to win in court, then you may be interested in filing the lawsuit in a state with comparative negligence laws instead. This may be the case if you are a resident of a state with comparative negligence laws, but the injury happened in a state with contributor laws.
To learn more, contact a car accident law firm in your area such as Cormany Law.Share