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What is pure comparative negligence in car accident claims?

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

More than one party shares the fault for causing many car accidents. Each state has negligence rules that govern who can seek compensation for their damages and how much they might receive.

When it comes to car accidents in Missouri, the concept of pure comparative negligence plays an important role in determining who is at fault and to what extent. Delve into what pure comparative negligence means and how it applies to car accident cases.

What is negligence?

Negligence in car accidents refers to a driver’s failure to exercise reasonable care, resulting in harm to others. Examples include speeding, running red lights, distracted driving (like texting) or failing to yield.

If a driver’s negligence causes an accident, they may be liable for paying damages. For instance, if a driver rear-ends another vehicle because they were texting, their negligence makes them responsible for the damages incurred by the other driver.

What is pure comparative negligence?

Pure comparative negligence is a legal principle used to assign fault in personal injury cases, including car accidents. It means that each party involved in an accident has an assigned percentage of fault based on their level of negligence. This percentage determines the amount of compensation they may receive or be liable to pay.

How does it work?

In a car accident case, insurance companies and the court consider the actions of all parties involved to determine their degree of negligence. For example, if Driver A was texting while driving and collided with Driver B, who ran a red light, both drivers may be partially at fault. Driver A may be 70% negligent for texting, while Driver B might be 30% negligent for running the red light.

Impact on compensation

With pure comparative negligence, anyone involved in a car accident can seek damages, regardless of their degree of fault. It is important to ensure that your share of the blame is accurate because the percentage of fault reduces the compensation awarded to injured parties.

Using the previous example, Driver B ran the red light and suffered $10,000 in damages. Because they were 30% at fault, their compensation would be $7,000.

Pure comparative negligence allows for an equitable distribution of fault and compensation in car accident cases. It acknowledges that multiple factors may contribute to an accident and ensures that each party’s actions determine their financial accountability.

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