Can I Recover Compensation for My Car Accident Injuries If I Was Partially At Fault?

Posted on Sep 28, 2018 in Personal Injury

As is the case with all Louisiana personal injury lawsuits, a person seeking compensation for car accident injuries must prove that the other driver or some other party was at fault for the incident. If you file a car accident lawsuit and you can demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant’s negligence or recklessness caused your injuries, you should be able to obtain compensation for your losses.

But what if the other driver was only partially at fault? What if you made some mistakes that also contributed to the accident that caused your injuries? Are you out of luck?

The answer largely depends on how much a judge or jury finds you were to blame.

“Comparative Fault”

In personal injury cases, Louisiana has adopted the doctrine of “comparative fault,” also known as “proportionate responsibility.” Under this rule, which is nine other states also apply, a plaintiff who is found to be partially at fault for an accident can still recover compensation, but damages between negligent parties are allocated based on their proportionate shares of responsibility.

LA Civ Code 2323 provides that in any personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, the judge or jury will determine the degree or percentage of fault of all persons causing or contributing to the injury, death, or loss. If the plaintiff’s injuries or death were partly the result of his own negligence and partly the fault of another person or persons, the amount of recoverable damages will be reduced in proportion to the degree or percentage of negligence attributable to the plaintiff.

Here’s how it works. A jury finds that an injured car accident plaintiff who sued another driver for compensation suffered $100,000 in damages. But the jury also finds that the plaintiff was 35% at fault for the accident, while the other driver was 65% to blame. As such, the $100,000 in damages would then be reduced by 35%, allowing the plaintiff to recover $65,000 in damages from the defendant.

Taken to the extreme, the comparative fault rule means that even if a plaintiff is found to be 99% to blame, he or she can still obtain compensation representing that remaining 1%.

If you’ve been in a car accident and think you may have been partially at fault, don’t let that stop you from calling a New Orleans car accident attorney to discuss your case. You still may be able to get compensation for your injuries and losses. How a judge or jury assigns fault between a plaintiff and one or more defendants in a car accident lawsuit can be complicated. An experienced car accident lawyer on your side who knows the law and understands how to make the most persuasive case can make all the difference.

Call Bloom Legal Today for a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Car Accident Injuries

With fierce advocacy and unwavering dedication, the New Orleans car accident attorneys at Bloom Legal will fight to get you what you deserve when you have been injured because of another driver’s negligence or reckless conduct. Contact us today at 504-599-9997 or through our contact form to arrange for your free consultation to discuss the details of your claim.

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