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What should you know about contributory negligence after a car crash?

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2022 | Personal Injury |

When auto accidents result in injuries, those involved typically look to the insurance companies to provide compensation. Should they deny such claims and people have to file lawsuits, the court will consider the role of each driver in determining whether to award damages.

Understanding how contributory fault works may aid collision injury victims in recovering financially from their crashes.

Determining fault

According to state law, in determining motor vehicle wreck fault, the court considers several factors. A judge or jury will take into account the actions of each driver. Additionally, the court considers the extent that the conduct of each motorist led to the accident and the resulting damages. For example, the first driver t-boned the vehicle of the second after failing to yield at a stop sign. The second driver, however, was traveling faster than the posted speed limit. Based on the factors involved, the court generally assigns a percentage of fault to each person involved.

Awarding damages

In determining the compensation to award, the percentages of fault have an important role. The court will adjust the share of the obligation for damages each party owes based on his or her contributory fault in the wreck. For instance, in the aforementioned example, consider the court finding the first driver 70% at fault for the crash, which resulted in $100,000 awardable damages. The court may reduce the damages awarded to $70,000, bringing the amount the motorist must pay in line with his or her assessed fault for causing the accident.

Without warning, auto collisions often leave people struggling with serious injuries and dealing with unexpected and undue financial consequences. Those who experience such situations may pursue options to recover their losses, such as taking legal action.