Can I Seek Compensation if I’m Partially Responsible for My Injury in New Hampshire?
In most car accident cases, fault is not immediately clear, which is why it makes sense to wonder if you can obtain compensation if you were partially to blame for your injury. In many cases, there is only one at-fault party. In others, however, multiple parties may share liability for the accident.
For example, if one driver is speeding and they crash into a vehicle whose driver failed to signal their intention to change lanes, both drivers could be partially responsible for the resulting collision. In such cases, each party is assigned a certain percentage of fault.
Whether or not you will be able to seek compensation if your own fault contributed to your injury depends on where you live. Some states still follow the contributory negligence law, while others adopted the doctrine of comparative negligence.
New Hampshire Uses the Modified Comparative Negligence Standard
According to NH Rev. Stat. § 507:7-d, New Hampshire uses the standard of modified comparative negligence, also known as the 51% rule. It means that your compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault. In New Hampshire, injured persons are allowed to seek compensation for their injury as long as they are not more at fault than the other party.
New Hampshire is also an at-fault auto insurance state, which means people who sustain injuries in car accidents must pursue a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. In no-fault insurance states, victims of car crashes must file a claim with their own insurer in order to recover damages regardless of fault.
As long as the other party was more negligent (51% or more) in your car crash in New Hampshire, you have a right to obtain compensation for your damages and losses, though your total award would be reduced in proportion to your share of negligence.
Recovering Damages When You Were Partially at Fault for the Accident
If you were partially at fault for the accident, do not hesitate to contact a Manchester car accident attorney because an insurance company may attempt to use your partial fault to deny your claim altogether. A knowledgeable attorney will conduct their investigation and collect evidence to minimize your degree of fault in the accident and will make sure that you receive a fair settlement.
Let’s return to our example above. The speeding driver is deemed 70% at fault for the collision, while the driver who failed to signal their intention to change lanes is 30% responsible for the accident. In that example, New Hampshire’s modified comparative negligence law would bar the speeding driver from recovering damages because their percentage of fault exceeds 51%. Meanwhile, the other driver could seek compensation for their injury even though they were partially responsible for the crash. However, if the driver who was 30% responsible had a case worth $100,000, they would only be able to collect $70,000.00 after the reduction for their percentage of fault.
Speak with a Manchester Personal Injury Lawyer
If you were injured in a car accident and were partially responsible for your injury, you may still be able to seek compensation if the other party was more at fault for the crash. It is important to speak with a Manchester personal injury attorney to help you recover damages if you were partially to blame for your accident. Contact the Law Office of Manning Zimmerman & Oliveira PLLC to receive a consultation about your particular case. Call at 603-624-7200.