Can I sue after a crash even if I was partially to blame?

October 28, 2021
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People often mistakenly believe the answer to this question is No. They think that if they had any role in an accident or admit any amount of fault, the law bars them from recovering financial damages through a lawsuit. But, this is not exactly true.

Connecticut drivers can still collect damages from a personal injury claim even if they were partially to blame for an accident. However, there are some important caveats and limits.

Understanding modified comparative negligence

In this state, we have modified comparative negligence laws. Generally, this means that even if you carry some responsibility for an accident, you can still pursue and recover damages.

The critical exceptions include situations where you are more than 50 percent to blame. In these situations, you cannot recover financial damages.

Another critical element of these laws is the difference between what is awarded and what you actually receive. The law specifies the amount you recover will be reduced in proportion to your liability. In other words, if your negligence was 20 percent, the courts will reduce any award you collect by 20 percent.

Who calculates liability?

Considering how much could be on the line when it comes to calculating liability, people often worry about who makes these determinations.

Assigning liability often involves several parties and factors, especially when there are several people involved. Among them are:

  • Insurance agents
  • Police
  • Attorneys
  • Crash reconstructions

These parties investigate a crash and use the evidence to decide which parties were negligent or reckless. Typically, they will look at:

  • Indications of traffic violations
  • Surveillance video
  • Witness statements
  • Physical evidence on the scene
  • Chemical testing of drivers
  • Cellphone records

Putting these pieces together can help parties understand what happened who is liable for a severe car accident.

Making your case

Details matter when it comes to investigating the cause of an accident and calculating the damages resulting from a crash. Percentages add up to dollars, and every cent counts when it comes to compensating crash victims. 

Keep all this in mind before you dismiss your legal options or assume a settlement is good enough.

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