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How is Fault Determined in Car Accidents?

close up of red car with dented and broken right headlight

Liability is a Shared Responsibility

Under Louisiana Civil Code 2323, a pure comparative negligence doctrine is observed which dictates how compensation is awarded and fault is determined after an accident (and other tort claims). This is why Louisiana is often colloquially referred to as an "at-fault" state.

As an at-fault state, Louisiana recognizes that accident liability is a shared responsibility, and more than one party may assume fault after a collision.

What is Comparative Negligence?

Comparative negligence — also known as comparative fault — works by assigning a percentage of fault to each party involved regardless of ability to pay. While the non-injured party may assume more of the fault, the amount paid to the injured party in compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault contributed on their behalf. This doctrine is applied differently throughout the nation, with many states opting to use a system that would deny compensation to an injured person found more than 50% at fault.

In using what is known as "pure" comparative negligence, Louisiana will allow a motorist with any percentage of fault to recover damages for injuries.

How is the Percentage of Fault Decided?

If your case goes to trial, it will be up to the judge to determine fault percentages. When assessing the evidence presented, they may factor in a few different things to determine the proportion of fault, including:

  • Ability to evaluate potential hazards and act accordingly.
  • Capacity at the time of the accident.
  • The risk created or assumed by the injured party.

For example, if one motorist suffered injuries after another hit their car, any action taken by the injured motorist at the time of the accident (speeding, not using a blinker, etc.) will be considered when determining their compensation. This is why it's crucial to have a skilled attorney on your side for any car accident case.

New Orleans Car Accident Attorneys

The car accident attorneys at The Burrell Firm LLC have a proven track record of obtaining millions of dollars in compensation for injured victims. With 24/7 availability and a commitment to aggressive and compassionate representation, our team is dedicated to your successful recovery.

If you or a loved one was involved in a car crash and sustained an injury, call (504) 688-7728 or fill out the form on our website to schedule a free consultation.

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