What To Know About Comparative Negligence In An Auto Accident Case

7 January 2020
 Categories: Law, Blog

Were you involved in an auto accident that wasn't your fault, but now you're being told that you are partially responsible and will only receive partial compensation? If so, you may not know if you should accept partial responsibility or challenge it. Here's what you need to know about this complicated situation.

What's Comparative Negligence?

You may hear the term comparative negligence when trying to reach a settlement regarding your auto accident. This means that the other party feels that they are not 100% responsible for causing the accident, and should not have to pay 100% of the damages.

Many insurance companies claim comparative negligence as a way to dispute an accident and save money, even if it is a thousand dollars. That's because insurance companies process thousands of claims every day, and if they are able to save a small amount on each of those claims, they can save a lot of money over time.

Will You Recover Damages If Partially Responsible?

Each state has its own laws regarding how much responsibility you can have and still recover damages regarding your auto accident. States like Illinois have comparative negligence, which requires that you are less than 50% responsible to recover damages regarding an accident. States like California will let you make a claim for your percentage of fault, even if it's a lower percentage. This means that you can recover some of your major medical bills when you are the one primarily responsible for causing the accident.

Meanwhile, states like Virginia have contributory negligence, which means having any percentage of fault will result in receiving no compensation for your losses. As you can imagine, in these states it is wise to never accept partial responsibility regarding an auto accident.

When Would You Agree To Accept Partial Responsibility?

It can be wise to accept partial responsibility when you want to quickly resolve your auto accident case. For example, if you are found to be 5% responsible for a case and you would owe a small percentage of property damage to the other person's vehicle, it could actually cost you more money to fight it in court and avoid paying the 5% of their property damage.

Navigating partial fault in an auto accident case can be complicated, which is why it is worth working with an auto injury lawyer in your area. They have the expertise to give you the guidance to help ensure you receive the most compensation possible. Contact a law firm like Duluth Injury Lawyers to learn more.