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3 Methods of Determining Fault After an Accident

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A car accident is one of the most stressful times in someone’s life. Statistics show that 2.35 million people are injured and over 37,000 people die as the result of road crashes. A car accident is the leading cause of death related to a traumatic brain injury. One of the most crucial aspects of serious car accidents is determining who is at fault. It might seem that determining fault is rather easy to determine. Unfortunately, there are situations where the aspect of fault is not easy to prove. Here are three common rulings used to determine fault in an automobile accident.

  1. Partial Comparative Fault

    Many states enact rulings that determine fault by percentage. One popular way to determine fault is through using the 51% rule. This rule will not allow a driver to file a lawsuit against another driver if the person filing is more than 51% at fault. If Driver A caused 80% of a wreck and suffered severe damages, that person would be unable to file a lawsuit to seek damages. Other states use a rule that states a driver who is less than 50% at fault should receive compensation. If two drivers were each 50% responsible for an accident, neither would be able to seek damages.
  2. Contributory Negligence

    You won’t find this way of determining damages used in every state. Pure contributory negligence is a legal ruling for determining fault after serious car accidents between two parties. For instance, let’s say that two people were approaching a stop sign. Driver A’s view of other vehicles is slightly obscured by an overgrown shrub which causes a collision occurs with Driver B. Let’s say that Driver B slightly rolled through the stop sign which also contributed to the accident. Under pure contributory negligence, both parties in this situation are likely to be at fault.
  3. Complete Comparative Fault

    Pure comparative fault works by deducting a percentage of damages from overall accident costs. Statistics show that nearly 660,000 drivers are using cell phones while they’re driving. Let’s say that one driver was 70% at fault for automobile accident due to using a cell phone. If this driver was originally set to receive $5,000 for their damages, they would now receive 70% of it or $3,500.

In closing, there are several methods used to determine fault in an automobile crash. You’ll find that different states throughout America use differing methods to determine fault. Partial comparative fault is done through either using a 50% or 51% ruling. The 50% rule of partial fault means that damages are awarded to someone who is less than half responsible for an accident. A 51% ruling states that anyone who causes over 50% of damages is technically at fault. Contributory negligence holds each driver responsible in the event either person causes damages. Comparative fault deducts compensation from damage a driver sustained that was their own fault. Many people find it wise to contact an attorney after dealing with serious car accidents.

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