In some car accidents, more than one driver is at fault. Negligence claims are a legal method of assigning fault for the injuries that result from car accidents or other incidents, and comparative fault may be used to determine each party's fault.
Drivers have a duty of care to other road users, and when they fail to fulfill that duty, they could be liable for resulting injuries. When more than one driver in an accident does not uphold this duty of care, the application of comparative negligence in a lawsuit is based on the percentage of each driver's fault in the accident. This means that a driver can file a lawsuit against another driver even if the plaintiff driver contributed to the crash.
For example, if the plaintiff suffered injuries in the car crash, the amount that the individual could recover for damages is reduced according to the percentage of the individual's fault. In situations where more than two people were at fault, the application of comparative fault means that responsibility for the collision is spread among all of them in proportion to their proven fault.
An example of comparative negligence in a car accident might be driver one not using a turn signal for a left-hand turn, driver two speeding and driver three not leaving enough space behind driver one. The driver turning left could file a claim against the other two drivers, seeking damages of $100,000. The jury determines the percentage of fault for each of the drivers, which could be 10 percent for driver one, 30 percent for driver three and 60 percent for driver two. If the sought after damages are awarded, driver one recovers $90,000.
It may not be clear to some drivers how much they could be held liable for the cause of car accidents. Before filing claims, drivers may talk to personal injury lawyers about how much fault they might be assigned.