Comparative Negligence in an Auto Accident Lawsuit

Categories: Car Crashes

In an auto accident lawsuit, the outcome hinges on the determination of which party is at fault for the accident.

auro accident lawsuit philadelphia car accident lawyerAs your Philadelphia car accident lawyer, I present your case and arguments opposing the other party’s insurance company, and the judge and jury make decisions about who was responsible for causing the damage.

What is Comparative Negligence?

Comparative negligence is a legal concept that is used in an auto accident lawsuit when fault is determined to be shared between the parties. An example would be where the plaintiff is 40% at fault. In this case, the plaintiff’s potential share of the damage settlement would be reduced from 100% to 60%, because they caused 40% of the damage.

History of Comparative Negligence

The concept of comparative negligence came about as a progression from contributory negligence, which stated that if someone was even partially at fault, even if it was only a small percentage, they would not be entitled to any compensation. Comparative negligence was developed to make a partial fault situation more fair.

Some states still only use contributory negligence, and others have adopted some form of comparative negligence. “Pure” comparative negligence means that whatever percentage of fault is determined is the amount that can be recovered. If you were 90% to blame you could still recover 10% damages.

What is the Law in Pennsylvania?

A Philadelphia injury lawyer will argue cases using a modified version of comparative negligence, which is based on the 51% rule. This rule means that a plaintiff can recover a partial settlement, but only if their portion of the fault is 50% or less. In other words, if you caused more than half of the accident you cannot recover anything.

An expert car accident attorney, Philadelphia lawyer Jeffrey Harlan Penneys will guide you through any type of auto accident lawsuit or negotiation. He will handle all the details and difficulties of your case so that you can have peace of mind and get back to normal as quickly as possible. He can be reached at 1-800-465-8795 (1-800-injury-law). Call today for a free consultation.