The law regarding Washington personal injury cases clearly states that the driver who is at fault must be held liable for damages caused. However, it can be very easy to determine who is at fault; this is the person who caused the accident by acting irresponsibly. For example, if an accident occurred because a motorist ran a red light or made an illegal U-turn, this motorist will be the party who is at fault.
How Washington Handles Contributory Fault Auto Accident Claims
The victim in such a case is the other party; a motorist or pedestrian who was involved in the collision while following the law.
Again, it may not always be easy to determine who was at fault. If an accident occurs as a result of both parties acting negligently or carelessly, it can be hard to clearly identify which party was legally at-fault. For example, one driver may make an illegal U-turn that results in a collision with another driver who was busy texting or talking on the phone and therefore could not react in time. In such a case, it is very clear that both drivers contributed to the accident.
Who is Lawfully At Fault?
Different states have different laws on contributory fault. The state of Washington is among the 13 states in the United States that use a system called pure comparative negligence. This simply means that a judge or a jury apportions a percentage of the total fault to both parties and directs each party to recover that percentage of their total losses from the other party. In the case above, a judge or jury may apportion 70 percent of the blame to the motorist who made an illegal U-turn and 30 percent to the driver who was texting, despite the fact that he was driving.
In some states, the driver who made the illegal U-turn may not be able to recover any damages seeing as he bears more than 51 percent of the total blame. Washington State, however, does not use this system and uses a system called the Pure Comparative Negligence instead.
In case you have been involved in an accident, you may need a personal injury attorney to help you get the total compensation you deserve. We know all about how Washington handles contributory fault auto accident claims and will stick with you to the very end. Call us today!