HOW PARTIAL BLAME AFFECTS A CAR ACCIDENT CASE
If you are partially to blame for a car accident, it could greatly affect your car accident case.
Fault in a car accident usually boils down to one question, “which party acted negligently?”. Negligence is the failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. Under this sort of claim, you would need to prove the following:
- Duty: The driver owed a duty to drive responsibly and safely.
- Breach of Duty: The driver breached that duty when they failed to drive in a reasonable manner.
- Causation: The driver’s breach of duty caused the accident.
- Damages: You suffered a personal injury as a result.
Often, accidents are not purely 100% someone’s fault. There can be a lot of factors that contribute to an accident, including other vehicles, weather conditions, traffic conditions, and even your own negligence.
Determining fault is one of the most important aspects of accident claims, yet how insurance companies deal with negligence claims varies from state to state.
If the plaintiff is found to be partially at fault for the accident, they are said to be contributorily negligent. Contributory negligence is often an affirmative defense used in accident claims. Contributory negligence occurs when a party acts negligently and ends up injuring themselves as a result.
Example: Driver 1 failed to drive in a reasonable manner when they were speeding through the neighborhood. Driver 2 failed to yield to oncoming traffic when backing out of their driveway, causing Driver 1 to slam into Driver 2. Because Driver 1 was speeding, they contributed to the severity of their injuries with their own negligence.
PURE COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE
Many states, including Arizona, consider pure comparative negligence, a type of contributory negligence when processing an accident claim. Pure comparative negligence states that, when an accident occurs, the fault (or negligence) or each party involved is based upon their respective contributions to the accident. The percentage of fault is often used when determining damages.
Example: Using the situation above, let’s say Driver 1 pursued a personal injury claim against the Driver 2 and was awarded $100,000. However, the Driver 1 was found to be 30% at fault for the accident, therefore Driver 1’s damages will be reduced by 30% to $70,000.
CONSULT AN ATTORNEY
If you are partially at fault for a car accident, contact an experienced car accident lawyer in Central Phoenix, AZ who can help you understand what sort of damages you may be entitled to and will fight to make sure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Thanks to Kamper Estrada, LLP for their insight into personal injury claims and partial blame in a car accident.