Of the several rules that govern how much each party gets and pays after a car accident, the pure comparative negligence rule is maybe the easiest to understand.
After an accident, a jury looks at two things. First, they ask, how much did the plaintiff sustain in damages? Second, they ask, how much of the accident did the plaintiff cause?
The answer to the first question is a dollar amount; the answer to the second question is a percentage. The jury subtracts the percentage from the dollar amount to come to a decision as to how much to give the plaintiff.
A Simple Rule with a Simple Process
What makes the pure comparative negligence rule so simple is that no plaintiff is barred from suing, no matter how much of the accident was his or her fault.
Someone who was 90 percent responsible for their accident has as much right to sue in a pure comparative negligence rule state as someone who was 10 percent responsible.
The catch, obviously, is that the person who was 90 percent responsible will get 10 percent of what he or she is seeking, and the person who’s 10 percent responsible will get 90 percent of what he or she is seeking. But we’ll get into more of that later.
How the Pure Comparative Negligence Works
Because of the way the system works, winning a lawsuit is not often the difficult part of getting your money in a state with a pure comparative negligence rule; getting the amount of money you’re seeking is.
To get any money, you’ll just have to show that any part of the accident was the other side’s fault. But if you want to get the money you deserve, you’ll have to mount a serious legal offensive to prove the other side was at fault.
Delta Lawsuit Loans offers pre-settlement cash advances to plaintiffs from 10 states with a pure comparative negligence rule.
Applying is really as easy as a phone call of a few minutes and having your lawyer send over some documents.
After that, we usually just take a day to make our decision.
If you get funded, you’ll have cash deposited directly to your bank account, and you can spend it any way you want. It is, after all, your money.
What Is a Pure Comparative Negligence State?
On a basic level, a state with a pure comparative negligence rule ensures that each driver is compensated for whatever damages he or she was not responsible for.
That’s true even if a driver was almost completely responsible for an accident, as long as another driver still caused any part of it.
The pure comparative negligence rule works like this:
- Each driver is paid for his or her damages minus the percentage of the accident that was his or her fault.
- We’ll assume that we’re talking about an accident with two drivers, where any fault not contributed by one driver was contributed by the other.
Our car accident lawsuit loans that can help you along the way of your lawsuit.
They come with a guarantee that you won’t pay back a cent if you lose. We get paid out of the final settlement and only out of the final settlement.
How Do You Calculate Pure Comparative Negligence?
When a case goes to trial in a pure comparative negligence state, a jury is told to find two values.
The first is common among all car accident lawsuits: the damages.
The jury has to find exactly how much the accident cost you, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, among other damages.
If the accident was completely the other side’s fault, it ends there, and the damages the jury finds are what you get.
But quite often, an accident is not entirely the fault of one driver.
Even if the accident was mostly one driver’s fault, another still could still have contributed to the accident.
In this case, the jury finds a second value: the percentage of the accident for which you were at fault. In a modified comparative negligence state, if this value is higher than 50 percent (and, in some states, if it’s an even 50 percent), you’re out of luck and can’t sue.
But in a state with a pure comparative negligence rule, you can sue even if this value is more than 50 percent.
Finally, the jury subtracts the percentage it found from the damages it found to give you the total value. If all that sounds confusing, don’t worry; we’ll give you a practical example in the next section.
“Time Waits for no Man”
All of this takes time. A lot of time. But as they say, “time waits for no man”.
That’s where Delta Lawsuit Loans comes in.
We can offer lawsuit loans as soon as a day after you request them.
Applying is easy: It’s a short conversation and sending over some documents.
Using the money is easy: There are no restrictions.
And paying back couldn’t be easier: Your lawyer takes care of it right out of the settlement.
Example of the Pure Comparative Negligence Rule
Let’s say you were in an accident and sustained $20,000 worth of damages. But the accident wasn’t completely the other driver’s fault; in fact, you were 15 percent responsible for yourself.
In this case, a jury would take 15 percent off of $20,000. Fifteen percent of $20,000 is $3,000, so you’d be left with $17,000.
In this case, the other driver, who was 85 percent at fault, suffered $100,000 in damages because he or she was injured much worse than you were.
If this other driver sued in a pure comparative negligence state, he or she could receive 15 percent of his or her damages. Fifteen percent of $100,000 is $15,000.
(While it sounds like you make a net of only $2,000, or 10 percent of your costs, even though you were only 15 percent responsible for the accident, it’s the insurers that are paying for this, so you’re taking home the full $17,000 minus whatever your deductible is.)
States Under the Pure Comparative Negligence Rule
Ten of the states for which Delta Lawsuit Loans offers pre-settlement cash advances follow a pure comparative negligence rule.
They include two that are primarily no-fault states; learn more about how drivers in a no-fault state can sue outside the system in our article on no-fault insurance.
The states below have a pure comparative negligence rule, and the ones that are starred have no-fault car insurance.
- New Mexico
- New York*
- Rhode Island
If you’re in an accident in one of these states and you’re considering suing, you’ll be doing it under the pure comparative negligence rule, so proving fault is going to be central to your case.
Lawsuit Loans From Delta Lawsuit Loans
When we say “loan,” we really mean cash advance.
When you think of a loan, you’re thinking of an amount of money that is given to you for a certain amount of time.
When that time’s up, you pay back that amount of money with interest.
A pre-settlement cash advance from us doesn’t work exactly like that.
What we just described is basically what happens if and when you win, except that you pay back out of the settlement and not out of your bank account––and certainly not out of the money we gave you because that’s your money.
If you lose, however, the situation’s completely different.
Whereas you would have to pay back a traditional loan the same way you win or lose, you don’t pay back a cent of a lawsuit loan if you lose.
Since these loans are non-recourse cash advances, we can only be repaid directly out of the settlement.
So if there is no settlement or judgment in your favor, we simply can’t get paid. And that means, by extension, that you don’t pay.