Personal Injury Lawyer
When involved in an accident that leaves you injured, it is natural to want restitution, especially if your injuries have led to significant financial hardship. While seeking compensatory damages is straightforward when you are not at fault for the accident, the level of difficulty changes when your degree of involvement in the accident changes. Therefore, to understand how you can expect to be compensated if you are partially at fault, it pays to know the fault rules of your state.
Pure Contributory Fault
There are only four states and one district that recognize the pure contributory negligence rule. Under this regulation, if a driver or injured party is found to be even 1% at fault for the accident, they cannot recover damages. While this law may seem unfair, if a plaintiff can prove that the crash only occurred because of the blatant negligence of the defendant, then it is possible that the court will permit a trial for recovery of damages. This also works if the defendant can prove that the plaintiff could have avoided the accident but didn’t.
Pure Comparative Fault
The pure comparative fault rule is followed by 13 states. This law allows both parties of an accident to seek compensation for their losses; however, their recovery is limited by their level of involvement in the crash. Therefore, while a driver might be 99% at fault for an accident, they can sue to recover 1% of their losses. Again, that works the other way as well. If an individual is only 1% at fault, then they can sue to recover 99% of their damages.
Modified Comparative Fault
The majority of states follow the modified comparative fault rule, but they differ on the barrier for recovery. For example, 12 states hold the 50% bar rule, which states that if a party is 50% or more at fault for the accident, then they cannot seek recovery. The remaining 21 states follow the 51% bar rule, which stipulates that if an individual is 51% or higher at fault, then they cannot seek recovery.
Therefore, the level of compensation you can expect is entirely dependent on the state you reside in and your level of involvement in the accident. More than likely, you live in a comparative fault state, which means that if you were less than 50% responsible for the accident, then you can seek restitution for any damages. However, to get further clarification on fault and negligence, you may want to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis, IN.
Thanks to Ward & Ward Law Firm for their insight into personal injury claims and compensation when you are partially at fault.