When attempting to obtain a settlement from an insurance company following a car accident, you are likely to be worried about a number of things. Perhaps one of the biggest worries car accident victims must sit with is whether the insurance company will be successful in placing at least part of the blame on you. This can be incredibly disheartening, especially if the accident has resulted in significant suffering. Understanding comparative negligence and how such situations may be viewed by insurance companies, can be beneficial when pursuing a car accident claim. Fortunately, a  car accident lawyer  residents trust can be beneficial in advocating for you to secure the compensation you deserve.

What is comparative negligence?

Comparative negligence can make for a strong defense case against the driver who has hit you. Sometimes, when a victim attempts to obtain a settlement through the insurance company or in the form of a lawsuit, the professional representing the defendant may attempt to assign fault to the claimant. It’s important to retain an attorney if you have been in a car accident and there is belief that you have contributed to its cause in some way. In most states, if the claimant is found to be 50% or more at fault for the accident, they may not be entitled to compensation.  

Is there a difference between comparative and contributory negligence?

Yes. Comparative negligence is a newer approach adopted by the legal system.Comparative negligence allows for a claimant to obtain a portion of the settlement they are negotiating. For example, if a person is found to be 20% to blame for the accident, the defendant is only responsible for 80% of the damages they are looking to collect. In cases of contributory negligence, if a person attempts to obtain compensation and found to be at all responsible, they will not be able to collect even a portion of the settlement they have requested. It’s important to note that contributory negligence is an older way of approaching such situations. In most states, courts have moved away from contributory negligence and are more likely to practice the less harsher, comparative negligence.  

Can comparative negligence impact my settlement or award?

If the defendant is able to prove that you were in part responsible for the accident, your award may be impacted. Throughout the country there are variations to the percentage in which you can be found at fault for your role in the accident. In a number of states, if you are at fault for 50% or more of the accident, you may not to be able to obtain compensation. If you are unsure of whether or not you contributed to the accident, having an attorney review your case will be vital.

It can be frustrating to attempt to collect compensation for the injury you have suffered in a car accident. This is especially true if as a result of your insurance claim, the adjuster believes you are in part responsible. Unfortunately for you, it is the job of an insurance adjuster to ensure that the payout you obtain is as small as possible. However, an attorney’s services may be a necessary way or securing the settlement you may be entitled to.