In most states, the law says that a driver who causes a car wreck has to pay compensation to the victims. But sometimes there is more than one driver to blame for an accident. Several drivers may have contributed to the wreck. As an accident victim, you may have been one of the drivers who was partially to blame.
If you were partially to blame for the car accident, you are not necessarily disqualified from taking legal action against other drivers who were also at fault.
Untangling cases where multiple drivers are to blame can be very challenging. If you find yourself in this situation, the best way to protect your legal rights is to contact an experienced car accident lawyer at the Underwood Law Offices. Call us now or fill out our online contact form.
Under traditional rules, the law would allow an accident victim to recover compensation only if the victim had no responsibility for causing the crash. This rule was called “contributory negligence.” The rules were very strict. Even if you were just 1 percent to blame for the accident, you were still barred from recovering compensation from the person who was 99 percent at fault.
Because these rules produced unfair outcomes, they were soon changed in many locations. Now, someone who is partly responsible for causing a car accident can still be held accountable, even if the accident victim also did something wrong that led to the crash. The rule that allows accident victims to recover partial compensation is called “comparative negligence.”
Many states have adopted a modified comparative fault system. You might be able to obtain car accident compensation from the other driver as long as the other driver was at least 50 percent responsible for causing the wreck. If you were more than half to blame, however, you are precluded from recovering compensation from the others involved.
Recovering Compensation in a Comparative Fault Case
When you are partially responsible for an accident, your damages will be reduced by the percentage of your fault if you win your case. For example, in a situation where someone suffers $10,000 in damages but was 40 percent to blame, the damages would be reduced by 40 percent. The other driver who was 60 percent to blame would be responsible for paying just $6,000 in damages.
While splitting the blame makes sense, it also raises a lot of legal complications. It can be hard to put an exact percentage on who was to blame for an accident. This is an issue especially when the blame is close to half and half. The other driver will have a lot of incentive to play up your fault in order to prevent you from being able to make a claim.
To deal with the complex issues that arise in a partial fault liability case, it is important to be represented by an experienced, caring attorney with knowledge of how to handle these challenging cases. At the Underwood Law Offices, our car accident lawyers have handled many cases that involve shared fault. We know how to gather evidence and make compelling arguments so that blame is split in a way that benefits you as much as possible.
Schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys so we can explain what you might expect in your situation and how we can put our skills and experience to work for you and your family. Call us now or fill out our online form. There is no charge for the call or the claim evaluation, and there are no strings attached.