You might have a case if you sustain injuries in a car accident because of another driver was careless or reckless. You may be able to get compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit. However, the other party might say you are partly responsible for the accident in some way.
Your auto accident law firm in Kent will challenge that claim as much as possible. If the court finds you are partly at fault anyway, the contributory fault rules of Washington State will go into effect. Here is what you need to know.
What is Contributory Fault?
The Revised Code of Washington 4.22 describes contributory fault. This is when the court finds you contributed in some way to an accident. For example, you failed to stop at a Stop sign and a speeding driver talking on a mobile phone hit you.
You are at fault for violating a safety rule. However, the other driver was also at fault for speeding and using the phone while driving. The court will decide how much fault to assign each driver.
How Does This Affect Recovery of Damages?
The rule states that how much you are at fault will reduce the amount of money you can get by that much. The defendant might claim you are fully at fault in an accident. Your lawyer will argue against that so you can get the full benefits of your claim.
However, the court may still assign you some fault. This means if the court awards you $100,000 in damages, but also still finds you are 30% at fault, you will only get $70,000.
Will Being Mainly at Fault Bar Recovery?
In some states, if you are more at fault for an accident than the defendant is, you will not be able to recover damages. This is not true In Washington. You can be 99% at fault in an accident and still recover damages.
However, you will only get 1% of the awards, so that is not good. Since assigning fault can be subjective, it is up to your lawyer to present your case in the best possible light to reduce any fault you may have.
Contributory fault will affect your recovery in a personal injury lawsuit. It is in your best interests to hire an auto accident law firm Kent that can reduce any fault you may have to zero.