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Can I sue if I was partially at fault for my car crash?

On Behalf of | Nov 18, 2022 | Car Crashes

You may be commuting to work on I-41 or dropping your kids off at Appleton West when suddenly, “Crash!” you are t-boned by another vehicle. The crash rattles you emotionally and you sustain physical injuries that will take quite a while to heal. You may wish to pursue a lawsuit in order to be compensated for your damages.

However, car crashes are not always straightforward. There are many factors at play, and sometimes both parties made mistakes. For example, in the above scenario the driver who t-boned you may have run a red light, but what happens if you also broke the rules of the road, such as failing to follow the posted speed limit? Can you still sue if you were partially at fault for the collision?

Comparative negligence in Wisconsin

Some states in the U.S. hold that if you were even 1% at fault for your crash, you will not be awarded damages should you pursue a lawsuit. However, Wisconsin does not follow such draconian laws.

Instead, Wisconsin follows the law of contributory negligence. In Wisconsin, you can be awarded damages in a lawsuit as long as you are less than 51% at fault for the crash. The amount of damages awarded will be lessened in proportion to the percentage you are at fault.

As you can see, Wisconsin law recognizes that there are many factors at play in a situation leading up to a personal injury lawsuit. It is only right that the party that was more at fault should be held accountable. The laws of contributory negligence ensure that recovery is not totally barred if you played a slight role in the car crash you were injured in.