How Fault Laws Play A Role In Settling Car Accident Cases


The way the laws are set up in your state play a role in how you can and should proceed with an accident claim after you experience a car accident. There are three main types of fault systems used, and you will need to find out the type of system used in your state before you initiate pursuing a car accident settlement. The three main types are pure contributory negligence, comparative fault, and modified comparative fault, and here is an explanation of each type and how it might affect your car accident case.

Pure Contributory Negligence

The first type of system some states use for determining fault in car accident settlements is called pure contributory negligence. While this is not the most common type of fault system, it is used in four states. With pure contributory negligence, the law states that you can only file a claim against another driver if he or she is 99% responsible for causing the accident. The problem with this type of system is that it is hard to prove that a person is 99% at fault, simply because you will be labeled as at fault to some extent simply for being involved in the accident.

The best thing you can do if you are in this situation is to try to prove that the other driver broke the law or did something that he or she should not have done. For example, if the driver was under the influence of alcohol, you might still have the right to file a claim against him or her even if you are more than 1% at fault.

Comparative Fault

The second type of fault system used by some states is called comparative fault, and there are currently 13 states that utilize this system. With this system, you do not have to limit yourself to filing a case against another party if you are less than 1% at fault. In other words, you can file a suit against another party even if you are at fault for any percentage of the accident. The only thing you should realize is that comparative fault requires labeling drivers with a percentage for their responsibility in the accident, and you will only be able to ask for compensation that is equivalent to that person's at-fault percentage.

For example, if someone is labeled 70% at fault for an accident, you would be responsible for 30% of the accident. In this case, you could only pursue a settlement that is equal to 70% of the damages you experienced, as you would be responsible for the other 30%.

Modified Comparative Fault

The other type of fault system used, and the most common type, is called modified comparative fault. The other 33 states use this system, and the basic principle behind it is that the person who is less than 50% at fault for the accident is the person who can sue the other driver. In other words, if you are less than half responsible for the accident, you will have a legal right to sue. The driver who is more than half responsible for the accident occurring would not have the right to file a claim against the other driver involved.

How to Use this Information

Understanding the laws in your state is vital if you want to pursue settling a car accident you were in. If you are not sure how the laws work in your state, you could talk to an auto accident lawyer. Auto accident attorneys give advice and legal help to people who are involved in car accidents, and hiring one is a great idea if you need assistance.


18 March 2019

Consulting with an Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer

Ten years ago, I was injured in a car wreck while commuting to work. When a driver rear-ended my car, I hurt my back. Unfortunately, I had to undergo a couple of weeks of physical therapy. Even after receiving physical therapy, my back never felt as good as it did prior to the wreck. Have you been injured in a car wreck recently? Consider talking with an experienced accident and personal injury lawyer. This type of attorney can help you decide whether filing a lawsuit is your best course of action to take. On this blog, I hope you will discover the benefits of speaking with an accident and personal injury attorney soon after getting injured in a car wreck. Enjoy!