In an auto accident, multiple parties may be at fault. The two primary theories of negligence, contributory and comparative, were formed to address such facts. Most auto accident attorneys Raynham use the theory of comparative negligence in auto accident cases. Read further to learn the differences between these two theories.
In jurisdictions that use the comparative negligence theory, an individual can sue another driver regardless of his or her own negligence. However, economic recovery is reduced by that driver’s portion of fault. This is usually referred to as allocation or apportionment of fault. Some jurisdictions have made changes to comparative negligence rules, allowing a person to collect damages only if they are determined to have under 50% of the responsibility for the accident.
Few jurisdictions have retained the common-law contributory negligence defense. As of the time of this writing, only five areas still use it (North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Alabama, and the District of Columbia). Contributory negligence is an important part of auto accident liability because people in these areas cannot sue another person for damages or personal injury if their own actions contributed to the crash.
For example, a motorist who turns left in front of oncoming traffic cannot sue a speeding driver because they failed to yield the right of way. Under the contributory negligence theory, the victim’s own negligent acts contributed to the auto accident and, therefore, that person is legally barred from suing the other motorist. Such situations are referred to as pure contributory negligence. However, some jurisdictions have kept a modified contributory negligence theory, where a person may sue another motorist only if their own actions were less than 50% to blame for the accident.
Consult a Local Attorney for a Free Claim Review
In cases where more than one party is at fault for an auto accident, answers are rarely simple. In complicated car accident cases, an attorney’s help can be invaluable. If a person is injured in an auto accident, they should call auto accident attorneys Raynham for a free evaluation of their claim. By speaking to an attorney with The Law Office of Bruce S. Raphel PC, the client can learn about their case’s strengths and weaknesses, and they can gain the knowledge needed to make the most important decisions.