Can I file a lawsuit if I was partly at fault in a car accident?

In some car crashes or auto accidents, determining who was at fault is easy. But, sometimes in a Louisiana car accident, two or more drivers share responsibility. In these cases, an injured driver may ask – can I file a lawsuit even if I was partly at fault in the collision? 

Can I file a lawsuit if I was partially at fault for an accident in Louisiana?Some examples of accidents where fault can be spread among multiple people:

  • Speeding car changes lanes on Interstate 310 but collides with a pickup truck traveling without headlights even though it is nighttime;
  • A motorcycle driver “splits the lane” driving between two lanes of traffic and in doing so is hit by a car changing lanes not using its turn signal;
  • An SUV attempts passing a tractor-trailer in a no-passing zone, but the 18-wheeler swerves out of its lane and collides with the SUV.

Who is at fault in these cases where each party has some responsibility?  What if you were injured?  Can you fight for your damages?

In Louisiana – the answer is YES because Louisiana is a comparative fault state.  

What does Comparative Fault mean?

Simply put - the Comparative Fault rule states that to the extent that someone was responsible for an accident, their damage amounts would be reduced proportionally.

For example, let’s say you were the driver of that speeding car that collided with the light-less truck in the above example.  At the end of the trial, a jury found you were 40% at fault and the driver of the truck was 60% at fault.  The jury awarded a total of $100,000 for your damages.  To figure out how much you would ultimately receive, you would take the total award ($100,000) and multiply by the fault of the other party (60%), so you would receive $60,000.  You cannot recover for your own fault. 

How is Your fault determined?

There is no hard-and-fast formula to figure out how much fault is your and is others.  The percentage of fault is left up to the discretion of the insurance company adjusters (during settlement) or the jury/judge (in trial). 

In cases where your own fault is an issue, a Louisiana personal injury attorney can help advocate for a fair percentage of responsibility.  You make the decision – will engaging a qualified Louisiana personal injury lawyer help you protect your rights and interests?

Contacting a Louisiana Personal Injury Attorney

Louisiana personal injury and disabling injury attorney Loyd Bourgeois can help you recover damages for medical bills, ongoing medical treatment, property damage, and other accident-related expenses. For a free, no-obligation conversation about your case, call us today at (985) 240-9773.

Loyd J. Bourgeois
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Disability and Personal Injury Attorney