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What does comparative fault mean?

In the aftermath of some car accidents, it can be fairly easy to determine what went wrong and who is to blame. For instance, you could probably establish right away that someone ran a red light or swerved into oncoming traffic. 

However, many car accidents have the potential to be more complicated than you think with regard to who is at fault and who can be held accountable for damages. This is especially true thanks to Louisiana's comparative fault laws.

In accordance with state laws, blame for an accident can be spread across multiple parties. Should any party choose to file a legal claim seeking damages from the other negligent parties, the courts will review the accident and assign percentages of blame to each party involved. Any award ultimately given will be reduced in an amount equal to that person's percentage of liability.

To illustrate this, let's look at a hypothetical scenario. Let's imagine you are coming into an intersection. Your light is yellow, but you are texting on your phone as you drive through the intersection. You do not see another driver running a red light to your left. You also don't see the bicyclist in the intersection who riding alongside you. 

If you are all injured in a crash, the courts can look at the details of the incident and decide that the driver to your left was 40 percent to blame, you are also 40 percent to blame and the biker is 20 percent to blame. 

You and the other parties may all choose to file a legal claim seeking damages. However, any award you or the other driver collects would be reduced by 40 percent; the biker's would be reduced by 20 percent.

In other words, you can be at fault for an accident and still collect damages in a legal claim in Louisiana.

Any person with questions or concerns regarding liability and motor vehicle accident claims can discuss them with an experience personal injury attorney. Failure to consult an attorney can lead to costly mistakes and oversights in the event of a serious car crash.

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