What Is Comparative Fault In A Car Accident?

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Comparative negligence implies that if an accident occurs, the fault and negligence of each person involved are decided based on their respective contributions to the car accident. This assists insurers in assigning blame and paying the insurance claims accordingly. Consult a personal injury lawyer grand junction to get the required legal knowledge regarding car accident claims. 

Comparative negligence is used in car accidents to assign blame by determining fault between the plaintiff and the defendant. Compensation for damage caused in accidents is awarded based on the proportion of negligence found in the accident.

If both drivers in the accident break the same traffic laws, they will lose their claims. 

In cases of accidents involving two parties, insurers use the principle of comparative negligence to assign fault. Determination of fault in an accident is an essential part of insurance.

Insurance companies ensure they are only liable for compensating damages caused by their insured clients. In addition, defense lawyers will try to limit the responsibility to the smallest extent possible. Insurers and the court determine fault by assessing the actions that led to the accident. The determination of fault decides how much the insurer is supposed to pay.

The damages are awarded based on the level of negligence found. The party found to have less responsibility still holds a part of the blame. The proportion of negligence assigned to the party with the slightest fault is called contributory negligence. 

Comparative negligence 

There are three comparative negligence types depending on the blame percentage.

  • Pure Comparative Negligence

The pure comparative negligence rule states that the plaintiff can recover the damages  even if they are found to be 99% liable or at fault for causing the accident. In this case, the plaintiff is legally allowed to seek compensation for the remaining 1% of the damages done by the defendant.

  • Modified Comparative Negligence

In modified comparative negligence, plaintiffs cannot get monetary compensation to recover damages if they are at fault for the accident beyond a certain percentage. The 50% bar rule is commonly followed. This lets the plaintiff to seek compensation for the damages if the percentage of fault percentage in the accident is 50% or above. Meanwhile, the 51% bar rule states that plaintiffs cannot recover damages if their fault percentage is 51% or more.

  • Slight/Gross Negligence

Under this rule, fault percentages determined in an accident are assessed as “slight” or “gross” contributions to the accident. The amount of compensation in the accident is comparatively more if the plaintiff’s contribution to the accident is slight and the defendant’s contribution to the incident is gross. Gross refers to irresponsible and conscious disregard for the safety of the injured party.

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