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Pennsylvania’s Comparative Negligence Law and Recovering Car Accident Damages

by The Beasley Firm  |  October 25, 2022  |  

How PA’s Negligence Laws Can Affect Your Right to Recover 

After you are injured in an auto accident, one of the first questions you may ask is who will pay for your losses. You may have expensive medical bills or be unable to pay your mortgage because you are not working. If another person caused your injuries, you might be entitled to compensation, but it could be limited if you were partially at fault for the collision.

At The Beasley Firm, we have represented clients throughout Pennsylvania for over 60 years. We know that insurance companies often try to put car accident victims at fault for their injuries to limit their own liability. We fight to ensure that does not happen. Our lawyers understand what it takes to hold these insurance companies accountable and ensure our clients receive the financial recovery they deserve.

If you have been injured in a Philadelphia car accident, contact our office at (215) 866-2424 for a free consultation. 

Pennsylvania’s Comparative Negligence Laws

If you seek to recover damages from another party after an auto accident, the insurance company will begin an investigation to determine who was at fault for your injuries. Under Pennsylvania law, if you are found to be 51% or more to blame for the accident your claim for damages will be denied.

However, if your percentage of comparative fault is found to be less than 51% you may still be entitled to reduced compensation. Your damages will be diminished in proportion to the percentage you are found to be at fault or to blame for the accident.

What Is Modified Comparative Negligence?

Pennsylvania follows what is referred to as modified comparative negligence, which means that while you can still recover damages if you are found to be partially responsible for the accident, the percentage of your fault cannot exceed 51%. It is important to note that some states follow a 50% modified comparative negligence law.

How Is Comparative Negligence Different from Contributory Negligence?

Comparative negligence and contributory negligence are two distinct rules. Pure contributory negligence is only followed by a handful of states because of how harsh it is to personal injury victims. In a state that follows a pure contributory negligence rule, a victim is barred from recovering any compensation if they are found to be even 1% at fault for their injuries. 

Comparative negligence, on the other hand, allows a plaintiff to still recover damages even if they were partially to blame for the accident. However, their compensation is reduced in proportion to their negligence.

Is Pure Comparative Negligence Different?

Pure comparative negligence differs slightly from the modified comparative negligence model that Pennsylvania follows. In states that follow a pure comparative negligence law, a party can still recover damages if their percentage of fault exceeds 51%. 

Can I Seek Damages If I Was Partially to Blame for the Accident?

Under Pennsylvania law, you are still able to seek and recover damages if you were partially to blame for the accident. Your percentage of fault or comparative negligence cannot exceed 51%. 

Contact a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you were injured in an auto accident, contact our office at (215) 866-2424 for a free consultation. Call our office now to speak directly with an attorney. We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of our clients.  Let us help you get the compensation you need to cover all of your losses.

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