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December 19, 2016

What if I’m Partially at Fault in a Trucking Accident?

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Posted in Wisconsin Workers Compensation Related News

If you have been involved in a trucking accident, you may find yourself asking: What if I’m Partially at Fault in a Trucking Accident? Sometimes accidents aren’t only one driver’s fault, and some fault will be split between each of the drivers.

For example, imagine you were involved in a trucking accident when a semi-truck merged into your lane and crashed into your car–but you were speeding 20 miles over the speed limit.  If this was the case, then you may be deemed partially at fault.  Although the semi-truck driver should have looked before merging into your lane, your speeding may have made the accident harder to avoid.  Under the circumstances, the insurance company for the semi-truck would claim that you were partially at fault and raise a defense called “comparative negligence.”

Most states have specific statues that address comparative negligence, and these statutes provide the answer to the question “What if I’m partially at fault in a trucking accident.” In Colorado, C.R.S. § 13-21-111 allows for modified comparative negligence.   This means that even if you are partially at fault, you can still recover damages so long as you were not 50% or more at fault for the accident.  However, the amount you can recover is reduced by the percentage of fault that is attributable to you.

It sounds complicated, but here’s how it works.  Using the previous example, a jury may determine that your speeding partially caused the accident and it could find you 20% at fault in the trucking accident.  As a result of your comparative negligence, your total damages would be reduced by 20%.  If you had $100,000.00 in damages that were caused by the accident, then you would be entitled to recover only $80,000.00.   If the jury found that you were 30% at fault for the accident and you had $100,000.00 in damages then you would only recover $70,000.00.

Things get tricky, however, if a jury found you 50% or more responsible for the accident.  Under those circumstances, you cannot recover any money from the accident and the defense would win the trial.

Due to the complexity of trucking accidents, it is important to have a qualified truck accident lawyer fighting for you.  When a semi-truck collides with a car, the semi-truck always wins.   If you are partially at fault in a trucking accident, you definitely need an attorney to make sure that a jury doesn’t find you 50% or more at fault under the doctrine of comparative negligence.  Here at Cannon Hadfield, LLC, we hope that if you have a clear answer to the question: “What if I’m Partially at Fault in a Trucking Accident?.”

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