How Does Comparative Fault Work in WA Car Crashes?

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In the state of Washington, determining who is responsible for a car accident can prove to be a challenging process. This is mainly due to the comparative negligence law. The person bringing a lawsuit for damages must first be able to prove that the other person was in fact negligent. However, even if the plaintiff is able to do so the defendant may be able to avoid partial or even full liability by ensuring a defense.

The comparative negligence system in car accidents is created to deal with situations in which both parties assume responsibility for the accident or basically means both individuals have been negligent. For example, if the plaintiff is driving at night and hits a pedestrian, but the pedestrian suddenly darts into the intersection unexpectedly, the question is who is at fault and is it possible that the pedestrian contributed to the accident. However, how liability in a situation like this is treated largely depends on where you live. A few states follow the contributory negligence law however almost all of them follow the comparative negligence system.

The comparative negligence law gives the defendant an opportunity to raise a partial defense, which basically allows a defendant to place partial blame on the plaintiff. However different states have different comparative negligence rules. In the pure comparative negligence law, accident victims can recover compensation for the injuries even if they were very negligent in their own driving or behavior, even if their level of involvement was higher than the defendants. However, in other states the plaintiff’s recovery is restricted if the plaintiff’s fault exceeds a certain level. So while in some states the plaintiff will be able to recover damages if his fault is less than that of the defendant, in other states this may not be the case. However, even so the defendant must be able to prove that the plaintiff’s negligence contributed directly to the accident. So in a nutshell if the plaintiff’s behavior or actions worsened his injuries, however, it did not actually cause the accident, the defendant has no case.

If you’d like to know whether or not you have a good chance of winning a personal injury case, you should definitely hire a personal injury lawyer in Seattle. They have the necessary skills and experience to facilitate your case and let you know from the onset whether or not you stand a good chance of recovering compensation from the guilty party.


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