Car crashes happen for a wide range of reasons. Pointing fingers becomes part of the process, primarily if the accident occurred in a tort state. Insurance companies operating in these states have to investigate to figure out who is liable for the crash. This determination then affects how insurance companies pay out if they have to pay anything. Since the laws differ across state boundaries, you may not be familiar with the process. You may also understand that the accident was partly your fault, but more the other driver’s doing. Familiarize yourself with the different ways insurance companies deal with negligence in states where blame is assigned.
Pure Comparative Negligence
One negligence method is “pure comparative.” It also seems to be the fairest way of assessing each party’s responsibility for the accident and the resulting damages. The gist of this investigation is that each driver is assigned a percentage of fault for the accident. They are then able to recover the other party’s liability determination. For instance, one driver gets 25% of the liability, and the other receives the remaining 75%. The more innocent driver can then expect to recover 75% of its damages from the other person’s insurance company. If the other driver wanted to, they could get 25% of their losses from the innocent driver.
Pure Contributory Negligence
The strictest finding of negligence is known as “pure contributory.” In states that operate under this method for assigning blame, a driver must be completely innocent to get any reimbursement for damages. Insurance companies know that almost every driver can be found guilty of breaking some rule that would assign them a portion of fault. Even if it is a minor infraction, the innocent driver does not get anything from the other insurance company. Even a 1% share of the liability is enough to get this type of treatment.
Modified Pure Comparative Negligence
Modified pure comparative negligence methods are the most popular in the country. It is a middle ground between pure comparative and contributory negligence. It uses the comparative method in allowing people to recover their proportionate share of damages to liability. However, like contributory negligence, there is a threshold. The benchmark is usually set at 50% or 51% depending on the state. This means that if the drivers equally contributed to the accident, then neither will be able to recover anything from the other.
A car accident lawyer, like a car accident lawyer in Newark, is an excellent ally in working through negligence findings. Get help today to better know what you’re looking at for recovery.
Thanks to Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. for their insight into how different states handle negligence.