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Can I still pursue a negligence suit if I was partly at fault?

Being in a car accident may be every driver's worst nightmare. Whether it is a minor fender-bender or a catastrophic head-on collision, a car crash in Pennsylvania can have the potential to wreak havoc on a person's health and finances.

Usually car accidents are due to the negligence of at least one driver. Negligence is the failure to take due care and drive reasonably under the circumstances. However, negligence is not always easy to sort out. There are usually a myriad of circumstances that lead to a car accident. For example, what would happen in a situation where both parties were partly at fault? Could an injured party still seek compensation after a car accident, even if they contributed to it in part? While the following information is to be used for general purposes only and is not legal advice, the answer in some circumstances may be "yes."

Under Pennsylvania law, drivers may still sometimes recover compensation even if they contributed in part to the accident, if their negligence is not greater than the other party's negligence. However, the party's recovery will be lessened in proportion to the amount they are deemed to be negligent.

People injured due to the negligence of another can pursue compensation. Such compensation could include recovery for medical expenses incurred in the accident, rehabilitation costs and pain and suffering. However, the issue of contributory negligence can be complex. Many times, expert witnesses are called in to help determine how responsible each party is for the accident. Those who wish to learn more about contributory negligence in Pennsylvania may want to seek the advice of an attorney.

Source: Statutes of Pennsylvania, §7102. Comparative Negligence," accessed Dec. 8, 2014

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