How is Comparative Negligence Applied in Car Accidents Caused by Multiple Drivers?

Comparative negligence is a legal principle that is applied in car accidents caused by multiple drivers in the United States. It is a way for courts to determine the degree of responsibility for an accident and allocate damages accordingly with the help of a Huntertown car accident lawyer

  • Determination of fault

When a car accident occurs, the first step is determining who was at fault. This can be a complex process, especially when multiple drivers are involved. In these cases, the court will apply the principle of comparative negligence to determine the degree of responsibility for each driver.

The principle of comparative negligence is based on the idea that each driver involved in an accident should be held responsible for the extent to which they contributed to the accident. This means that if multiple drivers were at fault, each driver would be held liable for the percentage of the accident they were responsible for.

  • Kinds of comparative negligence

There are two types of comparative negligence: pure and modified. In pure comparative negligence, each driver is held liable for the percentage of the accident they were responsible for, regardless of their degree of fault. This means that even if one driver was 99% at fault and the other driver was only 1% at fault, each driver would still be held liable for their respective percentage of the accident.

Modified comparative negligence, on the other hand, has a threshold of fault that must be met before a driver can be held liable. In most states, this threshold is 50%. This means that if a driver is found to be less than 50% at fault, they will not be liable for any damages.

In some states, the threshold is 51%. In these states, if a driver is found to be 51% or more at fault, they will be held liable for all damages. This is known as a “51% bar rule”.

  • Determination of degree of responsibility

Another way that the court can determine the degree of responsibility for each driver is by using the “last clear chance” doctrine. This doctrine states that even if a driver was primarily at fault, they would not be held liable if the other driver was given the “last clear chance” but still failed.

It is vital to note that in most states, the principle of comparative negligence is only applied in cases where multiple drivers are involved in an accident. If only one driver was at fault, they would be liable for all damages.