Article: What if one of the accident victims was also at fault?, Car Accidents

What if one of the accident victims was also at fault?

pThe word “fault” comes up a lot after an accident. Fault is the way a court determines if an accident victim is paid for their injuries. Personal injury accidents aren’t always simple. In some accidents, an accident victim may be slightly or partly at fault for the accident happening. While this seems like a complex situation, it’s not.

Can an Accident Victim Receive Money if They were at Fault in the Accident?

Yes. An accident victim may still receive damages, or money, if they are injured in a personal injury accident depending on where they live. States allow a defendant to raise a defense to bar or decrease an amount of a court award based on an accident victim’s negligence. These defenses are:
• Contributory negligence
• Comparative negligence
• Contributory-comparative negligence hybrid

Have you been injured in an accident in Phoenix area? You may think you or a loved one was partly at fault for the accident. Contact us immediately. We’ll determine fault and explain how we’ll proceed with the case.

Contributory Negligence

Contributory negligence involves the court looking at the accident to determine if the plaintiff, or accident victim, contributed to the accident. If the accident victim was at fault, they are barred from recovering any damages. Generally, it doesn’t matter if the accident victim was slightly or partly responsible for the accident. The term “barred” means the accident victim can’t receive any money. The contributory negligence defense isn’t very popular. Majority of states don’t use contributory negligence. In fact, Arizona doesn’t allow defendants to use contributory negligence.

Arizona has strict time limits on how long you have to file a lawsuit. It’s called statute of limitations. You have two years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit. If you didn’t discover your injury until later, you have two years from the date of discovering the injury to file a claim. The latter is common with medical malpractice case. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, contact us immediately. You have a limited time to file your claim.

Comparative Negligence

Comparative negligence is used in Arizona. The court looks at the accident and determines if the accident victim was at fault. If they were at fault, the court will compare the fault of the accident victim and wrongful party.

The accident victim may still receive a court award, but the amount is decreased by the percentage of fault. For instance, a court awards an accident victim in Phoenix $100,000 in damages. The defendant raised the comparative negligence defense. The accident victim was 20 percent at fault for the accident. The wrongful party was 80 percent negligent for the accident. The accident victim will receive $80,000 in damages. It’s 20 percent less than what they would have received if they were partly negligent.

You were injured in an accident. You have the right to pursue a legal claim even if you were partly responsible for the accident. In some accidents, the other party is clearly liable party. Other accidents assessing fault is murky. At Lamber Goodnow, we understand some personal injury accidents fall in a gray area. Let us represent you in your accident case. You still deserve money for your accident injuries.

Contributory-Comparative Negligence Hybrid

Although it’s not allowed in Arizona, it’s worth mentioning. Contributory-comparative negligence hybrid, or mixed contributory and comparative negligence, can decrease or bar an accident victim from receiving damages. If the accident victim is more than less than 50 percent responsible, their award is decreased by whatever percentage. If the accident victim is more than 50 percent for the accident, they’re barred from recovering damages.

You can Receive Money from an Accident that was Partly Your Fault

In states that practice contributory negligence, you may not have a high chance of receiving damages. In states like Arizona, you’re not punished if you were slightly or partly responsible for the accident. You can receive money for:

• Medical bills
• Pain and suffering
• Loss of a loved one in a wrongful death claim
• Property damage
• Lost wages
• Decreased earning capacity

Lamber and Goodnow is Ready to Assist You with Your Personal Injury Claim

Contact us immediately for help with your personal injury claim. Whether you know the accident was partly your fault or think it was, contact us. We will determine if you were at fault and how to proceed with your case. We’ll also work to negotiate a settlement to resolve your claim out of court. Contact us today.

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