If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may be able to collect compensation for the damages caused by your injuries, even if you shared some fault for the accident.
When it comes to auto accidents and other personal injury claims, Louisiana follows what is known as a “pure comparative negligence” rule. This means that fault and liability are determined according to the percentage of responsibility each driver shared for the accident. However, it is important to note that the amount of compensation you can recover for your damages may be limited by the liability you share for the accident.
An Example Of An Accident Where Both Drivers Share Fault
In some situations, such as an accident caused by a driver running a red light, it’s easy to determine who was at fault for causing the accident. However, in a lot of accidents, both drivers can share some responsibility for the accident.
Here’s an example of a car accident in which both drivers are partially at fault:
Driver A makes a right turn on a red light. He doesn’t see Driver B approaching when he makes his turn. Driver B is unable to brake in time and rear-ends Driver A’s car.
While Driver A failed to yield the right of way when he pulled out in front of Driver B, it was determined that Driver B was driving 10 miles over the posted speed limit when he struck Driver A’s car. It could be argued that the accident might not have occurred, or the injuries may not have been as serious, if driver B hadn’t been speeding at the time of the crash.
A judge or jury could reasonably conclude that the careless actions of both drivers contributed to the accident.
Assigning Fault For a New Orleans Car Accident
So, how is liability assigned for an accident? After a wreck, the insurance company, a judge, or a jury will assess the fault each party shared for the accident. Your fault will be assigned as a percentage from 1% to 100%. How much compensation you are able to recover for your injuries will depend on the amount of fault you’ve been assigned for the accident.
Using the above example, let’s say Driver A was assigned 75% of the fault for the accident, while Driver B was determined to be 25% at fault for the accident. Driver B’s total damages came to $20,000. Because he shared 25% of the responsibility for the accident, the amount he can recover will be reduced by 25%. Therefore, Driver B will only be able to collect a maximum of $15000.
The Less Fault You Have In an Accident, the More Compensation You Can Recover
There is no set formula used by insurance company adjusters or a judge and jury when it comes to determining the percentage of fault in an accident. The last thing you want is to be assigned more than your fair share of fault. Representation by a Louisiana personal injury attorney is the best way to protect your rights and ensure responsibility for the accident is assigned fairly.
The New Orleans car accident lawyers at JCC Law are here to protect your rights after an auto accident so you can collect the maximum amount of damages you are owed for your injuries and losses. We have the experience and resources to thoroughly investigate an accident to determine who was really at fault and by how much.
JCC Law is headquartered in New Orleans and represents clients throughout Louisiana. If you’ve been injured in an auto accident — even on where you may share some of the faults — contact JCC Law through our website or call us at (504) 513-8820 to discuss your case.