Lots of people are aware that if they are involved in a car accident caused by someone else’s reckless or careless driving, then they can file a personal injury claim. However, many people are unaware that they can file such a claim even if they are partially at fault for the accident.
There are several different systems used throughout the United States to determine liability in personal injury claims, and understanding these systems will help you to understand what to expect if you file a personal injury claim when you are partially at fault.
Under a comparative negligence system, defendants are held liable for any damages that they are at fault for. There are two types of comparative negligence systems that are used in the United States – pure and modified. Under both of these systems, the portion of responsibility that each plaintiff and defendant are considered liable for is calculated according to a formula.
Under the pure system, plaintiffs are able to recover an amount from each defendant, according to the portion of liability assigned to each defendant. However, under the modified system, a plaintiff is only able to recover damages from defendants if the plaintiff’s own fault is found to be below 50%.
A contributory negligence system works differently to a comparative negligence one. The main difference is that under a contributory negligence system, an injured party cannot claim any damages for the injury if they are deemed to be in any way responsible for it.
There is one exception to this rule under a contributory negligence system, and this is known as the Last Clear Chance Rule. According to this rule, if the party who caused the injury had a last clear chance to avoid doing so, the injured party can recover damages even if they are deemed to be partly responsible.
Joint and Several Liability
This type of liability applies when there are multiple injuring parties involved. Under this system, injured parties are able to recover the entire amount of any damages that they are owed by multiple parties, irrespective of what portion of the blame each party has been assigned.
Which Applies to You?
The rules and regulations surrounding personal injury claims will vary from state to state, so you will need to find out what the rules are where you are. The easiest way of ascertaining which of these applies to you is to consult with a personal injury attorney.
Whether you are involved in a trip or fall, a car accident, or any other form of personal injury where you believe that someone else is to blame, you should immediately consult with an attorney to see if you have a case worth pursuing. A qualified and experienced attorney will be able to guide you through the potential pitfalls of making a personal injury claim and will be able to alert you if they think that there are going to be any problems going forward with a claim.
Just because you are partially at fault for a car accident, that doesn’t mean that you aren’t able to make a personal injury claim. You will need to check what the laws and regulations are for your state, but do not give up hope just because you are concerned about your own liability in an accident. Speak to an attorney today to find out whether your claim is worth pursuing or not.