Overview of Comparative Negligence
Negligence isn't always as easy to determine as it was in our previous example of the driver running a red light and different states use different standards to establish negligence. Negligence can be classified as contributory negligence or comparative negligence. Unlike contributory negligence, where any fault you may have had in a car accident will prevent you from recovering damages, comparative negligence allows you to recover damages even if you were at fault.
There are generally 2 types of comparative negligence:
- Pure Comparative Negligence (a percentage of negligence is given to each responsible party); or
- Modified Comparative Negligence (West Virginia observes a version of this system.)
Modified Comparative Negligence at a Glance
Under modified comparative negligence, each responsible party is assigned a percentage of negligence. Damages are then based on that percentage and a claimant may or may not be able to recover damages.
Modified Comparative Negligence - 50% Rule
With the 50% rule, a claimant can only recover damages if their fault in the accident was 49% or less. If they are found to be 50% at fault for the accident, they are not able to receive damages for the injuries they may have sustained.
The state of West Virginia follows the modified comparative negligence - 50% rule.
How Your Fault Will Impact Your Claim in West Virginia
Your ability to demonstrate your relative lack of negligence in your Clarksburg car accident will have a direct impact on your ability to collect compensation in a West Virginia injury claim.
This is why it is so important to take steps after your car accident to collect the evidence that your Clarksburg car accident lawyer will need in order to show that another driver's negligence was responsible for your accident and injuries. This type of evidence might include photos of the accident scene and damage to the vehicles, witness statements and the police report.
Depending upon the circumstances of your accident, your attorney may be able to build a case that shows you were less than 49% at fault for your accident and therefore, eligible for damages.
Contacting a Clarksburg Car Accident Lawyer
Don't let someone else's negligence leave you burdened with medical bills and lost wages. If you have been injured in a Clarksburg car accident, contact an injury attorney in Clarksburg who can help determine who was legally responsible for your car accident.
Unfortunately, car accidents are a regular occurrence on West Virginia roadways such as I-79, I-77, Route 50, Route 33, and I-68. In fact, our state averages over 40,000 car crashes, over 400 deaths, and over 11,000 serious injuries each year. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a West Virginia car accident, order a FREE copy of our consumer guide, The 7 Biggest Mistakes that Can Wreck Your West Virginia Car Accident Claim then contact the Clarksburg personal injury attorneys at The Miley Legal Group for a FREE consultation - 304-326-1800