Overview of Comparative Negligence (Part A)

Whenever someone is injured in a Clarksburg car accident, the level of fault-or, in other words, negligence-of the drivers will play a role in determining who is eligible for compensation in a West Virginia injury claim. This means that if you are injured in a Clarksburg car accident, your ability to collect damages is directly related to the level of fault you are assigned for the accident as well as the negligence of the other driver.

Understanding Negligence in a Clarksburg Car Accident

A person can be held legally responsible for any injuries that you may sustain in a Clarksburg car accident if they are found to have acted in a careless manner.
Negligence in a car accident helps to determine fault. Establishing fault is important in order to recover damages for your injuries. 

To establish negligence in a Clarksburg car accident, the following elements must be proven about the other driver: 

  • They had a legal duty of care to you;
  • They failed to act on that legal duty of care;
  • They caused an accident; and
  • You sustained injuries as a result of that accident.


For example, if a driver approaches a red light, he or she is obligated by law to stop and yield the right-of-way to the vehicles with a green light. Therefore, if you are within the line of traffic with the green light, all of the drivers at the red light have a legal duty to halt and allow you to safely proceed.

If a driver fails to stop at the red light and instead, speeds through, he or she has failed to act on a legal duty of care to you. As a result of speeding through the red light the driver may collide with your vehicle and cause you to sustain injuries. This scenario would be a case of negligence.

In the second part of our article, we explain the negligence law observed in West Virginia, known as modified comparative negligence.

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