I’m At Fault As Well – Can I Still Sue Other Driver?

Depending on the state you live in, you can probably recover damages from the other driver even if your negligent conduct contributed to the accident. Most states use a “comparative negligence” system. In some states the jury simply assigns a percentage of negligence to each driver and this governs the amount of recovery. For example, the other driver ran a red light but you were speeding and this preventing you from stopping in time to avoid the other car. The jury might find that the other driver was 75% responsible for the accident and you were 25%. The result would be that you would be entitled to recover 75% of your damages from the other driver. This is called “pure comparative negligence.”

As of 2012, most other states still prohibit any recovery if you are 51% or more at fault. In the red light example, you would still be able to recover 75% of your damages. But if the percentages were reversed (the jury found you 75% at fault) you would recover nothing. Contrast this with a “pure comparative negligence” state where you would be able to recover 25% of your damages.

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