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Is It Possible To Still Sue For Damages If You Were Responsible For A Collision?

Many people are quick to assume that the other person is at fault in a car accident. However, it may be the case that you both share the blame. If this is true, how does it affect a personal injury case, if you decided to pursue one? Is it still possible for you to recover damages, especially if the primary mistake was made by the other driver? Read on to learn about contributory and comparative negligence.

Contributory Negligence

If you were at all to blame for a collision, even if it just one percent, you cannot sue and win compensatory damages in a state that follows contributory negligence rules. A few of the states that currently still adopt this rule include Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland and Alabama.

Comparative Negligence

Even if you are at fault for an accident, you can still sue the other driver and seek monetary damages. If the state in which you live follows this rule, the amount of award that you receive will be diminished a bit in proportion with the percentage of fault that you contributed to the accident. For example, if you were 50 percent responsible for an accident and your damages potentially equal $50,000, then you would receive a fiscal award of only $25,000, if a monetary judgment was awarded to you.

Modified Comparative Negligence

Some states will not allow you to recover damages if you are found to have contributed more than 50 percent to the collision. The amount that you receive, if you win your case, can still be reduced in proportion to the percentage of your responsibility in the crash. This is known as modified comparative negligence and varies from state to state depending on the degree at which you are fault. In Illinois and Arkansas you must less than 50% liable for the accident if you want to recover damages.

No Fault States

Some states have a no fault rule, which means that the insurance company will pay for damages up to a certain predetermined amount regardless of who was at fault in an accident. The same is true for you filing a personal injury claim. The laws are set forth by each state that follows this law, so they will vary. Some of these states include Florida, Kentucky, New York and Utah.

What This All Means For You

Just because you may have contributed to an accident it doesn't necessarily mean that you can't sue and seek compensation for the injuries that you sustained. The determination of fault will be a huge factor in your case and it will impact your ability to be awarded compensation. Therefore, you should never admit that you were at fault – even partially – in an accident. Simply try to remember all of the details of the case and contact a personal injury attorney from a firm likeVick & Glantz, LLP as soon as possible to assist you with your legal case.