What If I’m Partially at Fault for a Wreck?

Am I Still Entitled to Damages?

Collisions involving commercial vehicles are often very complicated, since multiple parties may be partially at fault for the incident. The police may assign all blame to one driver while filling out a crash report, but that does not necessarily always hold up later, as new evidence may reveal that the other motorist was partially or completely liable.

The complexity of these cases is why it is crucial to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. If the account of the wreck varies among parties involved, your lawyer should have the resources necessary to fully investigate the crash. However, even if that investigation concludes that you shoulder some of the blame, you may still be entitled to recover damages from the accident.

How Is Fault Calculated?

Many states adhere to the Modified Comparative Fault Rule, more commonly known as the 51-49 Rule, which means that if you were 50 percent or less responsible for causing the accident, you may still be able to collect some compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more. During arbitration or trial for such cases, each party will ultimately be assigned proportionate responsibility, or the percentage of fault for each driver, which will determine how much recovery is owed to the plaintiff.

For example, if a plaintiff is awarded $100,000 in damages but found to be 20 percent at fault, while two defendants were assigned a total of 80 percent of the blame–60 and 20 percent, respectively–the plaintiff would be entitled to $80,000 in compensation.

This situation raises an important question: How much does each defendant owe? Most states follow a rule referred to as Modified Joint and Several Liability, which states that a defendant is only responsible for the full amount of the plaintiff’s damages if the defendant is 50 percent or more accountable for the accident; otherwise, the defendant is only responsible for an amount equal to their percent of blame. Therefore, in the above example, the defendant who is 60 percent liable would pay the full amount of recovery owed to the plaintiff.

Nationwide 18-Wheeler Accident Attorneys

If you have been injured in an 18-wheeler wreck, the truck accident attorneys at Zinda Law Group will provide you with the experienced, knowledgeable, and compassionate representation you need to seek a full recovery. We offer a free consultation to new clients and work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t owe us anything if we don’t win your case. Call Zinda Law Group toll-free at 800-863-5312 so we can start fighting for you!