What is a “degree of accident fault” in a personal injury claim?

The degree of accident fault in a personal injury claim is an individual’s percentage of responsibility for an accident and the losses or damages that occur as a result of the accident.

If the person who was injured is partially at fault, that degree of fault will reduce the amount of compensation that can be recovered. Iowa lawyers can help Des Moines accident victims prove the other party’s liability to pursue fair compensation.

How is degree of accident fault impacted by negligence laws?

Negligence laws vary in each state. In Iowa, they are based on modified comparative fault. Under this standard, a jury or judge would assign a percentage of fault for each party that is in the accident from no fault to 100 percent at fault.

When an injured person is partially responsible for a crash, this can result in a couple of outcomes. One is that it prevents him/her from recovering any damages. The inability to be compensated applies to cases in which the injured party’s degree of fault is more than half (51 percent or higher).

The other outcome is that the amount of damages that are recovered could be reduced. If the degree of fault is 50 percent or less, damages can still be recovered. However, the damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned.

Since a higher degree of fault puts an injured person at risk for receiving a significantly low amount or even nothing at all, it may be in his/her best interest to seek legal counsel with Iowa lawyers in Des Moines. An attorney may be able to help establish most or all fault with the other party.

What types of evidence can reduce someone’s degree of accident fault in a personal injury claim?

Proof is key to establishing the other party’s responsibility for a crash. Some of the evidence that may help are:

  • the accident report;
  • photographs of the accident scene;
  • eyewitness statements; and
  • observations from a responding police officer.

At Walker, Billingsley & Bair in Iowa, lawyers in Des Moines can assist clients in collecting evidence for use in a personal injury claim to prove accident fault.  

Corey Walker
With over 20 years legal experience, Corey has been recognized for his work as an injury attorney.