In most car accidents, each driver thinks that the accident is the other driver’s fault. This is obvious in roadside shouting matches, police reports, and statements given to insurance companies. In fact, most accidents are partially the fault of each driver, and insurance companies calculate their offers based, in part, on the percentage of fault attributed to each driver. What percent of the fault is yours will also affect a car accident injury lawsuit? If you have been injured in a car accident that was determined to be partially your fault, a car accident lawyer may be able to help you recover compensation.
How Comparative Fault Works
Almost every state acknowledges that most accidents are not entirely the fault of one driver, and thus records related to the accident specify what percentage of the responsibility each driver involved in the accident bears. The comparative fault rules followed in Rhode Island are the most favorable to plaintiffs in car accident injury lawsuits. They hold that a plaintiff can recover damages in a car accident lawsuit as long as the plaintiff was not 100 percent at fault for the accident. Of course, the amount of damages you can recover gets lower the more responsibility you bear for the accident. In theory, you can still win a car accident injury lawsuit related to an accident that was 99 percent your fault, even though the court will award you a much smaller amount than it would have done if you were only a little bit at fault for the accident.
Other Factors That Determine the Amount of Car Accident Lawsuit Settlements and Court Decisions
Negligence (which is another way of saying “fault for an accident”) is a determining factor in which party wins a personal injury lawsuit, but it is not the only thing that determines how much money the court awards. These are some other factors the court considers:
- The plaintiff’s past and future medical expenses related to the accident
- The plaintiff’s past and future lost income related to the accident
- The general damages multiplier, in other words, how much the accident changed your life for the worse
- How much other people depend on the plaintiff financially
If the accident is mostly your fault, the amount you can recover might be so small that it is not worth the work and expense of filing a lawsuit. If your injuries are serious enough that you can no longer work, then compensatory damages from a car accident injury lawsuit, even after they have been reduced to reflect the fault that you bear for the accident, might be your best option for recovering financially from the accident.
Contact Dana and Dana About Car Accident Cases
A personal injury lawyer can help you recover damages if you have been injured in a car accident, even one that was partially or mostly your fault. Contact Dana and Dana Attorneys at Law, a personal injury law firm in Providence, Rhode Island to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit.
Mark Dana has been practicing in Rhode Island for over 25 years. He has handled hundreds of cases in courthouses throughout the state. Due to Attorney Dana’s knowledge and reputation, he can often be seen appearing as the legal commentator for NBC 10 in Providence.