What does the phrase comparative fault mean?
You may have heard the phrase “comparative fault” but do not know exactly what it means or how it affects you if you are involved in a car accident. You are not alone.
It means that a percentage of fault is attributed to each party. Sometimes the fault is clear, and only one party is found at fault. Other times, however, it can be several actions by several persons involved in the accident that caused the injury or harm. In this scenario, each person at fault is given a percentage of 100% attributed to them. That person then must pay that percentage of the other person’s damages.
For instance, one party was speeding, and one party ran a stop sign. It may be a 40-60 allocation of fault. If 60% was allocated to you, you would be obligated to pay the other party’s damages at 60%. (i.e., if their damages were $10,000, then your insurance company would pay $6,000).
On the other hand, if your damages were $100,000, the other party would be obligated to pay you 40% or $40,000. Each is proportioned out to their share.