After a car accident, it may be difficult to establish fault. However, fault allocation plays a huge role in whether a plaintiff can recover monetary compensation for their economic and noneconomic damages if they bear any degree of fault for the collision. In the U.S. each state decides how they distribute fault between parties when awarding damages after a car accident. States follow the comparative negligence or contributory negligence doctrine. Depending on which doctrine your state follows, your ability to recover compensation for your losses may be diminished if you are partially at fault for the accident. Keep reading to learn whether South Caroline follows comparative negligence rules and discover how a determined Chesterfield County Car Accident Lawyer can help you seek reasonable compensation for your damages.
What is contributory negligence?
Unfortunately, those in states that adopt the contributory negligence system when awarding damages after a car accident are barred from recovering any monetary compensation if they contributed to the cause of a collision in any way. If the plaintiff is found even just 1% at fault for the cause of the collision, they will not be able to recover compensation for their economic and noneconomic damages. Under this negligence system, the plaintiff cannot recover compensation if they bear any degree of fault for an accident.
What is comparative negligence?
Fortunately for car accident victims, South Carolina is one of the many states that follows the comparative negligence doctrine. Under this negligence system, the plaintiff can recover monetary compensation for their damages despite being partially responsible for the collision. However, the plaintiff’s award will be reduced by their percentage of fault. For instance, if the plaintiff is 35% at fault, they can only be awarded 65% of their damages reflecting their negligence. Nonetheless, it is pertinent to note that South Carolina does not follow pure comparative negligence rules. Rather, it adopts a modified comparative negligence system. Under a modified comparative negligence system, victims can only recover monetary compensation for their damages as long as their negligence in causing the accident was not more than the defendant’s negligence. Essentially, if the plaintiff is found more than 50% at fault for the collision, they cannot receive compensation for their losses. It is critical to understand how the comparative negligence system works as it can affect victims’ ability to recover monetary compensation for their damages.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, contact an experienced Chesterfield County car accident lawyer. Our dedicated team members will work tirelessly to help you seek reasonable compensation for your damages. We are prepared to fight on your behalf to help you get the justice you deserve.