Getting The Help You Need

Comparative Fault During A Car Accident Case

Ideally, in a car accident, the party who is at fault will be obvious. Then you will be able to simply seek compensation for your injuries faster. However, there are some accidents in which both parties could be held partially at fault. If this is the case with your auto accident, you will definitely need help from an auto accident attorney to resolve your case.

How Comparative Fault Works

"Comparative fault" is a situation in which both parties are considered to be partially at fault for the accident. In other words, both parties failed to show "duty of care" and they both played a role in the accident happening.

For example, if three cars are at an intersection, and all three of them attempt to drive through the intersection at the same time and collide, one car may have the right-of-way and the other two cars would be considered partially at fault.

When you are involved in an accident in which both parties are at fault, this doesn't mean that you won't be able to receive compensation. If the other party was considered to be mostly at fault, but you contributed to the accident, you might simply have your settlement reduced. For example, if you would normally receive a settlement of $20,000, but you were considered to be 20% at fault, you might instead receive a settlement of $16,000. If you are considered to be more at fault, your insurance provider may even need to compensate the other driver.

Why You Need a Lawyer

A comparative negligence case can be much more difficult than other personal injury cases because you will not only need to prove fault, you will also need to find reasons to downplay your own culpability. For example, you may be able to prove that there was a reason why your actions were justified.

Even if your actions were not justified, you may be able to present more evidence that the other party was negligent. For example, an auto accident lawyer might locate a witness who noticed that the other driver was speeding at the time of the accident and that this contributed to the accident. 

Because of comparative negligence, it's especially important to make sure that all of your damages are fully calculated. If you will not receive full compensation for your injuries, you will have an even easier time paying your bills because you will lose a portion of the damages you are entitled to.

For more information, reach out to local auto accident attorneys.