Truck collisions in Vermont have serious consequences, and people who are riding in passenger vehicles that collide with large trucks can sustain debilitating injuries. In some cases, these injuries can be fatal. Since 18-wheelers and big-rigs are so much heavier than passenger cars and have a significantly greater ground clearance, passenger cars can be crushed in collisions with large trucks, and smaller passenger vehicles can underride large trucks in a way that can be devastating to occupants of the passenger vehicle. In the aftermath of a serious Vermont trucking accident, people who have been injured want to know how they can seek financial compensation for their losses.
Generally speaking, you may be able to hold one or more parties accountable for injuries in a truck collision, including a negligent truck driver, the truck driver’s employer, the mechanic who worked on the truck, the designer or manufacturer of one of the truck parts, and other parties. Yet what will happen if you were partially liable for the truck accident, as well? Our Vermont truck accident lawyers can tell you more about how comparative fault can affect your truck accident lawsuit.
What is Comparative Fault in Vermont?
Comparative fault, or comparative negligence, refers to a legal principle through which a plaintiff’s recovery or amount of damages can be affected by the plaintiff’s own fault. States use different models of comparative fault, so it is important to understand specifically how Vermont law will apply to your truck accident case.
Some states apply a “pure” comparative fault principle, where a plaintiff will never be barred from recovery for partial fault, but the plaintiff’s damages award will be reduced by their percentage of fault. Some states, including Vermont, use a “modified” version of this principle, where a plaintiff will not be barred from recovery if they are less than 51 percent at fault. In those cases where the plaintiff is less than 51 percent at fault, their damages award will be reduced by their percentage of negligence. Very few states use a “pure contributory negligence” rule that bars a plaintiff from recovery when the plaintiff is even 1 percent at fault.
Examples of Situations Where Comparative Negligence Can Impact a Truck Accident Claim
There are a wide range of circumstances under which a plaintiff’s own negligence could affect their recovery in a Vermont truck accident lawsuit. Some examples include but are not limited to the following acts by the plaintiff:
- Following too closely behind the large truck before the crash;
- Texting while driving;
- Passing the large truck on the right-hand side;
- Intentionally trying to prevent a large truck from passing;
- Intoxicated driving; or
- Drowsy or fatigued driving.
Contact Our Vermont Truck Accident Attorneys for Assistance
Were you recently injured in a truck accident in Vermont? You should not wait to seek advice from an experienced Vermont trucking accident attorney. Even if you believe you might be partially to blame for the crash, it is essential for you to remember that you can still be eligible to obtain financial compensation. To emphasize our previous point, Vermont uses a modified comparative fault rule, which allows plaintiffs to obtain compensation Contact Larson & Gallivan Law online or call our firm today at 802-327-8458 in Vermont.