Kline Legal Group P.L.C.

Comparative fault and its relation to an accident claim

Auto accidents are serious and can lead to injury and trauma. Thankfully, auto accident claims help people seek compensation when others cause the accidents due to reckless behavior. 

During the claim process, the accused party may try to defend themself using the comparative fault rule. It is important to understand the term comparative fault and how it relates to an accident claim.

Definition

In short, the comparative fault law decreases the amount of an award in accordance with the percentage of fault of the claimant. The court determines these percentages in accordance with each specific case.

How it works

In order to calculate the comparative fault amount, the courts break the fault down in percentages. They consider the evidence and different factors to determine the amount of fault that each party holds. If both parties are equally at fault for the accident, or if the claimant is more at fault than the other party, the case cannot stand. On the other hand, if the claimant is responsible for 49% or less of the incident, it is still possible for the courts to award a damage payment. The court subtracts the percentage of fault of the claimant from 100% and awards the remaining percentage. For example, if the damages total $10,000 and the claimant is responsible for 20% of the accident, the court would award the claimant with 80% of the total damages, or $8,000.

No-fault claims

When claimants choose to file no-fault claims, comparative fault becomes null and void. In essence, a no-fault claim clears all parties of fault. Though this type of claim may pay faster than the other, it also has a specific payout, which may be less than the amount of damages a claimant could eventually receive.

By understanding comparative fault, claimants can develop strong accident claims to reach their desired result. For more clarity and assistance arguing a claim, it would be beneficial to speak with a knowledgeable attorney.

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