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What If You Are Partly to Blame? Can You Still Make a Claim?

Wednesday, 12th November 2008

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The police officer said you were partly at fault, can you still make a claim?  Let’s say you were speeding, just a little, say five over, and another driver pulled out in front of you and you were injured in the crash.

Principles of Utah accident law state that you can still make a claim for your personal injuries unless your fault is equal to the other driver’s.  If you were each 50% at fault then neither can make a claim against the other and you each pay for your own loss.  That includes the damage to your car.

However,  let’s say our slight degree of speeding amounts to, say 10% of the total fault.  In that case you can claim 90% of the repair cost of your car and 90% of the value of your injuries.

It can be tricky to sort it out and sometimes, for this particular area of Utah accident law,  you need a special expert called an accident reconstructionist.

The applicable section of Utah accident law is Utah Code Section 78B-5-818. Here is is for your eyes in full at the Utah Personal Injury Attorney Blog:

78B-5-818. Comparative negligence.
(1) The fault of a person seeking recovery may not alone bar recovery by that person.
(2) A person seeking recovery may recover from any defendant or group of defendants whose fault, combined with the fault of persons immune from suit and nonparties to whom fault is allocated, exceeds the fault of the person seeking recovery prior to any reallocation of fault made under Subsection 78B-5-819(2).
(3) No defendant is liable to any person seeking recovery for any amount in excess of the proportion of fault attributed to that defendant under Section 78B-5-819.
(4) (a) The fact finder may, and when requested by a party shall, allocate the percentage or proportion of fault attributable to each person seeking recovery, to each defendant, to any person immune from suit, and to any other person identified under Subsection 78B-5-821(4) for whom there is a factual and legal basis to allocate fault. In the case of a motor vehicle accident involving an unidentified motor vehicle, the existence of the vehicle shall be proven by clear and convincing evidence which may consist solely of one person’s testimony.
(b) Any fault allocated to a person immune from suit is considered only to accurately determine the fault of the person seeking recovery and a defendant and may not subject the person immune from suit to any liability, based on the allocation of fault, in this or any other action.

Renumbered and Amended by Chapter 3, 2008 General Session

4 Comments to 'What If You Are Partly to Blame? Can You Still Make a Claim?'

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