What Are Connecticut's Comparative Fault Laws?
In some cases, a traffic accident is solely and clearly one individual’s fault. For instance, if driver X was stopped at a red light and driver Z crashed into the rear of their vehicle because they were texting while driving, driver Z is clearly responsible for the crash, and will be responsible for driver Z’s injuries, car damage, and related losses.
In other cases, fault is not clear. State laws, such as comparative fault or negligence in Connecticut, can make it difficult to determine what happens if the injured party or individual bringing the personal injury claim also shares some of the fault for the motor vehicle accident.
Understanding Comparative Fault Laws in CT
It’s not hard to imagine situations where both drivers in a crash may share the blame both drivers share the fault for a crash if driver X did not activate their signal as required under the traffic rules, and driver Z was driving above the speed limit.
In motor vehicle crashes in which both parties share the fault, each one may sue the other for damages, depending on the fault or negligence rules of the jurisdiction where they file their claim. A small number of states still use the contributory fault or negligence law, which denies financial recovery to parties who have been found to share any degree or percentage of fault in an accident.
Fortunately, all the other states, including Connecticut, follow the comparative fault law, which reduces a party’s financial recovery by the degree or percentage of fault assigned to them. In the case of driver X and driver Z, for instance, if the court assigns driver X 20% of the fault and driver Z 80% of the fault for the crash, driver X’s damages will be lowered by 20%, and driver Z’s damages will be lowered by 80%.
Specifically, Connecticut follows the modified comparative fault laws, which allow a party that’s partially at fault for a motor vehicle crash to recover damages, but only if their percentage of fault is less than or equal to 50%. For instance, if driver X was 30% at fault for the crash, and their damages are $120,000, they can recover $84,000 in damages. But if driver X was more than 51% at fault for the crash, they will not be able to recover anything because they share more fault than driver Z.
Connect With a Seasoned Vernon Car Accident Lawyer Today
Before a driver brings a claim against another driver for an accident in which they were partially to blame, they must talk to a Vernon car accident lawyer first about how Connecticut’s comparative laws may impact their claim and ability to recover financial compensation for their losses. Contact Berman & Russo to set up a free case consultation with a seasoned Vernon car accident lawyer by calling 860-644-1548 or completing an online contact form.