What is Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence rule?

On Behalf of | Jul 23, 2021 | Car Accidents

You are allowed to collect compensation for injuries and damages you suffer as a result of a car accident. However, there is a rule known as comparative negligence, or the 51% rule, that determines whether you can recover damages and how much you can recover based on the circumstances.

What is the 51% rule?

Pennsylvania is a state that follows the modified comparative negligence rule for car accidents. While some states use a 50% rule, Pennsylvania follows the 51% rule. This means that if a person suffers injuries and damage to their vehicle after an accident, they are only permitted to recover compensation if they are found to be under 51% responsible for the accident.

For example, if two drivers end up in a collision after one was texting while driving and the other ran a red light, both would be considered responsible. If the one texting is the plaintiff and they are determined to be 48% at fault while the one who ran the red light is found to be 52% at fault, the texter would be able to recover damages. In this example, if the plaintiff was seeking $10,000 in their personal injury claim, they would only recover 48% of that amount due to their level of fault.

Meanwhile, if the driver who ran the red light was also seeking compensation for injuries and damages they suffered, they would not be able to recover anything as they were found to be 52% responsible for the accident. This is the rule under modified comparative negligence. Being found more than 51% at fault for car accidents by a jury or insurance company would prohibit the individual from receiving any compensation for their damages.

Who can you turn to for legal assistance?

If you suffered personal injury and damages in a car accident, you need the assistance of an experienced attorney. An attorney may provide you with legal advice and help you with your claim to secure compensation.