Understanding Comparative Negligence in Car Accident CasesOn March 13, 2023 by Millerie Penbrock
Car accidents are a common occurrence on the roads today. In most cases, determining fault is relatively straightforward, with one party being deemed entirely responsible for the accident. However, there are situations where both parties may have played a role in the accident, making it difficult to assign fault entirely to one party. This is where the legal concept of comparative negligence comes into play. In this blog post, we will explore what comparative negligence means and how it can affect car accident cases.
What is Comparative Negligence?
Comparative negligence is a legal concept that is used to determine the level of fault in a situation where both parties share responsibility for an accident. In states that follow comparative negligence laws, the fault is apportioned between the parties involved in the accident. This means that the amount of compensation awarded is based on the level of responsibility of each party.
How is Comparative Negligence Applied in Car Accident Cases?
In car accident cases, comparative negligence is used to determine the level of fault of each party involved in the accident. For example, if a driver is found to be driving under the influence of alcohol and hits another vehicle that was speeding, both drivers may be found to be partially responsible for the accident. In this case, the court may determine that the driver who was under the influence of alcohol was 70% responsible for the accident, while the speeding driver was 30% responsible. The compensation awarded to the victim would then be reduced by the percentage of their own fault.
How Does Comparative Negligence Affect the Amount of Damages Awarded?
In states that follow comparative negligence laws, the amount of damages awarded is directly proportional to the level of responsibility of each party. This means that if the victim is found to be partially responsible for the accident, the amount of compensation awarded to them will be reduced by the percentage of their own fault. For example, if a victim is awarded $100,000 in damages but is found to be 20% responsible for the accident, they would only receive $80,000 in compensation.
In conclusion, comparative negligence is an important legal concept that can significantly impact the outcome of a car accident case. If you are involved in a car accident, it is important to understand the laws in your state and how they apply to your situation. By working with an experienced car accident lawyer at https://www.smf-law.com/practice-areas/car-accident-lawyers/, you can ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you are entitled to, even in situations where both parties share responsibility for the accident.
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