Most personal injury cases are about the liability and evidence proving it. But oftentimes, there is a fine line between the culpability of the defendant and the plaintiff when it comes to being responsible for the accident. The answer is not always obvious either. That’s especially the case if you’re the plaintiff and you’re partially at fault for the accident.
While the word “fault” can be defined in many ways in a personal injury case, it stands for the person was responsible for harming another person (generally through carelessness). The person who caused the harm was also acting negligently.
That person is legally obligated to pay the injured person(s) compensation for the suffered injuries and losses that result from the harm. Personal injury lawsuits that go to court can result in the defendant having to pay the plaintiff a civil injury reward of several thousands of dollars.
What Happens When Many People are at Fault?
Most people view car accidents wherein only one driver was at fault. However, there are many instances where a driver doesn’t stop at the traffic lights or tailgates another car that may slam the brake. It is a rear-end accident. This can even lead to another car rear end the second car if the driver is negligent.
In such a scenario, the investigating officer might find that more than one driver was at fault, after talking with witnesses and the drivers. Thus, the insurance company might consider both the parties at fault even though there is considerable damage to the vehicles and injuries to the drivers.
Many people can be at fault, including you. This type of situation is referred to as “shared fault”. The rules that govern contributory negligence and comparative negligence apply in these situations. The rule that applies to you will depend on the state that you live in.
According to this rule, you can’t claim a settlement if you were even .00004% at fault for your injury accident. It’s a pretty drastic rule, so only a few states follow it.
If you were even .000004% at fault for your accident, you could still collect a settlement from the defendant, but your share will be reduced by the percent you were found to be at fault.
Modified Comparative Fault vs. Pure Comparative Fault
Some states follow a pure comparative fault rule, while others set up a cutoff limit at which you can claim a settlement. This is a modified comparative fault rule and allows you to collect a settlement as long as your share of fault was less than half. Depending upon the situation, you may have limited time to file for damages so it is best to contact a personal injury lawyer in London and let them represent your case.