– from Donna I. in New Berlin, WI
I was in a car accident and received a citation. The accident wasn’t completely my fault. Do I stand a chance recovering any damages?
Personal Injury Lawyer Response:
This is a good question that may require a little more background detail from you, the cited individual. A common case where someone was cited in an accident but it wasn’t 100% their fault is when someone rear ends the vehicle in front of them but the vehicle that was struck may have had a malfunction in the brake lights or possibly another mechanical issue that didn’t allow them to get out of traffic before another car struck them. In some cases, these accidents appear more cut and dry at the scene than they actually are. Truth is, they require more attention and more information to be handled properly.
But to answer your question, you absolutely may recover some damages – but IF and ONLY IF you are found less than 51% at fault for the accident. Wisconsin follows a modified comparative negligence system, where anyone found 51% at fault or more is not able to recover any damages. However, say you are found 50% at fault, you would be able recover 50% of the damages. In other words, to figure out what you could recover, reduce the amount of damages by the percent of fault. If you have $5000 in damages and were found 20% at fault, you’d be able to recover $1000.
To get further clarification on your particular car accident, you should contact a personal injury attorney. Because you didn't divulge the particulars in your question, it'd be best to have all of the details before giving a clear answer.
Give us a call or fill out the form if you need representation or perhaps a better understanding. Thanks for the question and good luck! “
Jeff Hughes, J.D.