In a car accident case, the allocation of fault plays a crucial role in determining whether a victim can receive compensation for their damages. In the U.S. states either observe the comparative negligence or contributory negligence doctrine when awarding damages after a car accident. Depending on which doctrine is applied, victims’ ability to recover damages if they bear any degree of fault for the collision that caused their injuries could be diminished. Continue to follow along to learn whether Washington D.C. follows comparative negligence rules and discover how our proficient Washington, D.C. Car Accident Lawyers can help you seek reasonable compensation for your damages.
How does comparative negligence work?
Most states follow comparative negligence rules when awarding damages after a car accident. Under the comparative negligence doctrine, regardless of whether a victim contributed to the cause of the accident, they can claim monetary compensation for their economic and noneconomic damages. As a result, their award will be reduced by their percentage of fault. If the jury determined the victim was 20% at fault, the victim’s award would be reduced by 20%. Essentially, they could only recover 80% of their damages. However, that is a case of pure comparative negligence. Under modified comparative negligence rules, a victim can recover compensation for their damages if they were less than half at fault for the collision. Essentially if they are more than 50% liable for the crash, they will be barred from recovering any compensation for their losses.
How does contributory negligence work?
Unlike most states, Washington D.C. is a contributory negligence state. Under contributory negligence rules, victims cannot receive any compensation for their economic and noneconomic damages if they bear any degree of fault for the collision. If the jury determines the victim is even just 1% at fault and the other party is 99% at fault, they will be barred from recovering any financial compensation for their losses. Essentially, when it comes to the recovery of funds, under contributory negligence rules, victims’ ability to recover compensation after a collision is diminished if they contributed in any way to the accident that caused their injuries.
How long do I have to file a claim after a car accident?
The statute of limitations for a car accident in Washington D.C. is three years. Essentially, victims have three years from the accident date to file a claim against a negligent party. If a victim fails to file a claim within three years of the date of the accident, they will be barred from pursuing legal action in the future. Ultimately, if a victim fails to meet this deadline they forfeit their rights to compensation for their losses.
For more information on how the contributory negligence doctrine can affect car accident victims’ ability to recover monetary compensation, contact a determined Washington, D.C. car accident lawyer. Our firm will work tirelessly to help you seek reasonable compensation for economic and noneconomic damages.