What is Comparative Negligence in CT?

In some cases, the fault for a car accident solely and clearly rests on one person. For instance, if a driver rear-ended your car while you’re waiting out a red light because they were using their phone, that driver is clearly responsible for the accident. Consequently, they will need to compensate you for your injuries, property damage, and associated losses.

In other cases, however, the fault is not always clear, and state rules, such as comparative negligence, can make it difficult to figure fault and liability when a plaintiff (the individual seeking compensation from the at-fault party) is also somehow to blame for the accident.

Comparative Negligence in Connecticut

When both parties share fault or negligence for a car crash, both can file a claim against the other to recover compensation for their damages. With the comparative negligence rule, each party’s level or percentage of fault for the crash will be assessed.

Connecticut follows the modified comparative negligence rule. This means that in a car accident claim, you can pursue damages from the at-fault driver, but your compensation will be decreased by a percentage corresponding to your share of fault. Likewise, you won’t be able to get any compensation if your amount of negligence or fault for the crash exceeds 50% when compared to the other parties involved in the crash. 

For instance, if it was determined you were 49% at fault for the crash, and your damages are $80,000, your compensation will be $40,800. But if you were 51% at fault for the crash, you will not recover anything.

Example of Comparative Negligence in a Manchester Car Accident

For instance, you were driving over the posted speed limit when another vehicle suddenly cut you and made a left turn. You did not have enough time to brake, and you crashed into the other vehicle. The other driver’s fault for the crash was determined to be 85%, but because you were speeding, your share of fault was determined to be at 15%. Your damages amounted to $50,000, but you can only recover $42,500 because of your 15% share of fault.

Take note the comparative negligence or fault rule will be used by lawyers, insurance companies, juries, and judges when determining settlement or award amounts during settlement negotiations and if your case heads to trial.

It is likewise vital to note there’s really no precise method used for apportioning fault. This means the ultimate decision regarding the percentage of fault allocated to each party will mostly depend on the negotiating skills of each party’s lawyer and their ability to convince the jury or judge.

Speak to a Manchester CT Auto Accident Lawyer Today

If you get injured in a motor vehicle crash and think you may have some fault for the crash, do not hesitate to reach out to Berman & Russo for advice. Our Manchester auto accident lawyer can determine how your level of fault may impact your ability to receive compensation for your losses. Fill out our online form or call 860-644-1548 to set up your free case evaluation.