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& Wilson, LLC Land & Soil Contamination : Vehicle Collisions : Personal Injury

Can I recover damages if I'm partially at fault in an accident?

One of the most common questions that arises after a commercial truck accident is whether compensation can be pursued if both drivers have been deemed at least partially at-fault. The good news is that being deemed partially at-fault in an accident does not automatically disqualify you from pursuing compensation, but you will almost certainly want to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to evaluate the specifics of your individual case.

In cases like this, the legal theory of comparative negligence comes into play. In brief, comparative negligence means that a victim's ability to recover damages after an accident may be reduced by a percentage that directly correlates to the amount of fault they are deemed to bear.

Let's assume that you have been injured in an accident with a commercial truck. You were partially at fault — maybe you didn't use a turning signal properly or some other relatively minor contributing offense. You may be deemed to be 20 percent at-fault for the accident. Accordingly, if a jury determines that your injuries justify $50,000 in damages, you would only be eligible to collect $40,000, or 80 percent, of the award.

Each instance of shared fault is different and must be evaluated individually. If you have been injured in an accident in which you share some fault, the guidance of a experienced attorney can help. An attorney can help you understand the elements at play in your particular case and lead you step-by-step through the process of filing your claim.

Source: findlaw, "Comparative Negligence," accessed Jan. 12, 2017

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