A serious collision can cost many thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost earning potential, vehicle repair costs and more. Accurately determining who was at fault can make a difference in how much compensation you receive.
Even though it may seem like the other driver was completely at fault, their insurer will be sure to look for anything you were doing that puts some of the responsibility for the crash, or at least the severity of it on you. For example, maybe as you entered an intersection with no stop sign or traffic light when the other driver ignored their stop sign and crashed into you.
Certainly, you were the one with the right-of-way. However, maybe you were speeding, didn’t look both ways to make sure no one was coming and/or were reaching for your iced latte so one of your hands wasn’t on the steering wheel.
What is the pure comparative negligence rule?
Different states follow different rules for determining how the percentage of fault by each driver affects how much compensation they can collect (or have to pay). Kentucky follows the “pure comparative negligence” rule. That means if the other driver is determined to be 100% at fault, you can collect all the compensation you’re determined to be due. However, say you’re found to be 30% at fault. That means you can collect 70% of that compensation.
Who determines fault and how?
Insurance companies (or the court, if the case is litigated) can look at the police report, photos and videos of the scene and eyewitness accounts (including yours and the other driver’s). The more evidence you can provide in your favor, the better chance you have of minimizing your share of fault. That can make a big difference in the compensation you’re able to collect to cover your medical expenses, car repair or replacement costs and more. Having experience legal guidance can help you make a strong case.