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Can I File a Damages Claim if I am Partially at Fault in an Accident?

If you have been involved in an accident that you partially caused, there is still a chance that you may be able to recover damages. Learn about the comparative fault law in Louisiana and see how it may affect your car accident case.

The Baton Rouge car accident lawyers at Simien & Simien are dedicated to helping you fight for your best interests. We will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve even if you are partially at fault for the accident. Our services are provided on a contingency fee basis, so there are no charges to you unless we successfully obtain compensation for your case.

Elements of Negligence

It is not always easy to determine who was at fault for a car accident. When your attorney sets out to prove the crash was caused by the other driver’s negligence, he or she must gather evidence to establish these elements of negligence:

  • The other driver owed you a duty of care. For example, drivers owe other motorists a duty of care to follow traffic laws and take reasonable action to drive safely.
  • The duty of care was breached because the other driver acted or failed to act in a certain manner, such as by failing to follow traffic laws or driving recklessly and endangering you.
  • The other driver’s breach caused the accident.
  • You were injured as a direct result of the other driver’s negligence and would not have been injured otherwise.
  • You suffered damages as a result of your injury.

Your attorney will use many different types of evidence to demonstrate the other party’s negligence. He or she will also use the evidence to show that your actions in the matter were appropriate to protect yourself as well as your property.

What if You Were Negligent as Well?

The insurance company and attorneys for the other driver will try to gather evidence to establish that your actions before the crash involved all the elements of negligence discussed above. They will do this because Louisiana applies a comparative fault doctrine in personal injury cases, including car accident cases.

Under Louisiana Civil Code 2323, if you are found to have some percentage of fault in the crash, the amount of compensation you can recover will be reduced based on your fault percentage. This means insurance companies and other drivers do not have to pay out as much compensation as they would if the victim was not at all at fault.

For example, say you are awarded $100,000 in damages in your claim. Due to your actions in the matter, you are found to be 35 percent liable. Therefore, your compensation will be reduced by 35 percent. Instead of receiving $100,000, you will receive $65,000.

Louisiana’s comparative fault system is much more lenient than other states’ systems. In our state, as long as the other party has some percentage of fault, you can recover compensation. This means, if you are 75 percent at fault, you can still cover 25 percent of your damages.

Your attorney will investigate the accident and determine the amount of fault you are responsible for and work hard to get you the compensation you are owed. The advantage to having an experienced attorney who has handled many types of accidents is that he or she can work to try to make sure you are not assigned an unfair percentage of fault.

How a Lawyer Can Help with Your Case

If you were injured in a car accident, contact our Baton Rouge car accident attorneys for a free consultation. Our lawyers are dedicated to helping victims recover the compensation they deserve for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Schedule a free, no obligation consultation today and learn your legal rights. There are no upfront fees and payment is only due if we recover compensation for you.

Call (800) 374-8422 or fill out our Free Case Evaluation form now.