Car accidents and comparative negligence

Like the name implies, accidents can be simply that. However, some could be caused by recklessness or negligence. If you've been injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of another driver, then you're likely suffering from some pretty extensive damages. Unexpected medical expenses and lost wages can quickly devour your savings, and your physical and emotional pain and suffering can lead to a stressful and downright overwhelming situation. In addition to wanting compensation for your losses, you probably want some sort of accountability, both of which can be obtained through a personal injury lawsuit, if successful.

However, even though a plaintiff in a personal injury case needs to be on the attack by presenting evidence that shows the defendant's negligence, he or she also has to be a bit on the defensive. This is because Connecticut recognizes comparative negligence. Under this legal theory, fault for a car accident can be appropriated based on the facts at hand. Therefore, a plaintiff may be found to be 25% at fault for causing the accident in question, perhaps by failing to use a blinker, which can have an impact on amount of recoverable compensation.

Under comparative fault law, a plaintiff can only recover compensation based on the difference between his or her fault and the defendant's. So, if a jury awards $100,000 in damages with the defendant 60% at fault but the plaintiff 40% at fault, then the plaintiff will only recover $60,000 of that judgment. It is also important to note that a plaintiff who is found to be more than 50% at fault will be unable to recover compensation from the defendant.

Therefore, as mentioned above, even plaintiffs have to play a bit of defense when they pursue a personal injury claim based on a car accident. In addition to developing strong legal arguments that seek to impose liability on a defendant, a car accident victim has to be prepared to counter the defense's arguments, which generally try to place the blame on the plaintiff. Fortunately, car accident attorneys who are familiar with this area of the law and are experienced developing successful tactics stand ready to help victims with their personal injury cases.

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