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Understanding Comparative Fault: How it Affects Your Car Accident Claim

Posted on Categories Car Accidents

by Dixon Law Office

At Dixon Law Office, we understand the complexities of car accident claims and the impact of comparative fault on compensation. In this post, we will explore the concept of comparative fault and how it can affect your car accident claim. Understanding comparative fault is essential to protect your rights and ensure fair compensation when you’re involved in an accident.

What is Comparative Fault? Comparative fault, also known as comparative negligence, is a legal concept that determines the degree of fault of each party involved in an accident. It considers the actions or negligence of all parties to determine their share of responsibility for the accident.

Impact on Compensation: Nearly all States follow a comparative fault system.  Compensation is adjusted based on the percentage of fault assigned to each party. Here are two common types of comparative fault systems:

Pure Comparative Fault: In states with a pure comparative fault system, an injured party can still recover compensation even if they are found to be mostly at fault for the accident. However, their compensation is reduced by their assigned percentage of fault.

Modified Comparative Fault: In states with a modified comparative fault system, the injured party can only recover compensation if they are found to be less than a certain percentage at fault, typically 50% or 51%. If their assigned percentage of fault exceeds this threshold, they may be barred from recovering any compensation.

Example Scenario: Let’s consider an example to understand how comparative fault works:

In a car accident case, the court determines that the total damages amount to $1,000,000. The court finds the injured party to be 20% at fault for the accident, while the other driver is assigned 80% fault.  In a pure comparative fault state, the injured party can still recover compensation but their award will be reduced by their percentage of fault. In this case, they would receive $800,000 ($1,000,000 – 20%).  In a modified comparative fault state with a 50% threshold, if the injured party is assigned more than 50% fault, they would not be eligible to receive any compensation.

Importance of Legal Representation: When comparative fault comes into play, having experienced legal representation is crucial to protect your rights and ensure a fair evaluation of fault. An attorney can:

  • Gather evidence to challenge any unfounded allegations of fault.
  • Present a strong argument to minimize your assigned percentage of fault.
  • Negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you receive fair compensation based on the actual share of responsibility.

Understanding comparative fault is essential for navigating the complexities of car accident claims. By comprehending how it affects your potential compensation and the importance of legal representation, you can better protect your rights and secure fair compensation. At Dixon Law Office, we are dedicated to helping you navigate the legal process, ensuring that comparative fault is accurately assessed, and fighting for your rights. When everything goes wrong, we’re here to make it right and guide you towards the resolution you deserve.

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