If you were hurt by someone else’s carelessness, you might be surprised and even upset to learn that a defense attorney could try to claim that you were at least partially responsible for the injuries you sustained. Comparative negligence is a common defense tactic our Parkersburg attorneys have faced in truck accident and other vehicle collision cases.
When the plaintiff and defendant are both found to be partially responsible for damages in an accident, comparative negligence rules divide fault between the two parties. West Virginia follows a modified comparative fault rule where the victim must be less than 50% liable in order to recover damages.
Plaintiffs in West Virginia who are found to bear equal responsibility (50%) for an accident lose the ability to seek restitution for their injuries. If your share of the fault is less than 50%, you can still seek damages but your recovery will be diminished by the proportion of liability you share.
The defense in a truck accident case might attempt to devalue your potential recovery by claiming you engaged in negligence such as:
- Reckless driving
- Failure to signal at an intersection
- Not wearing a seatbelt
Matters of comparative negligence can even impact high-profile cases. In its response to Tracy Morgan’s truck accident lawsuit, Walmart claimed that injuries sustained by the comic and three other passengers stemmed “in whole or in part” from not wearing seatbelts during the June crash that put Morgan in the hospital and left another victim dead.
Qualified representation is the best way to strengthen your claim and counter efforts by the defense to pass blame. To begin building your truck accident case, please contact Jim Leach, L.C., or call 1 304-865-8530 today to schedule your no-cost consultation at our office in Parkersburg, WV.