Understanding Connecticut’s comparative negligence system

On Behalf of | Jun 16, 2023 | Car Accidents |

Following a motor vehicle collision with another car, you can file a lawsuit against the other driver to claim additional damages on top of any compensation their insurer can provide. Normally, if you sue another driver for car collision damages, you’d claim the full amount for the cost you filed for.

But things work differently in Connecticut. The state is one of several that follow a modified comparative negligence system regarding personal injury lawsuits. What does this mean, and how does it affect the compensation you can collect?

The level of fault matters

In a modified comparative negligence system, the final amount you can collect from a lawsuit against another driver will be adjusted according to your level of fault in the accident. This means that if, for example, you are 20% at fault for an accident, you can only receive up to 80% of the damages from the lawsuit.

Notably, the system also prevents drivers more than 50% at fault for the accident from making a case.

How fault is determined

Various factors can help determine your and the other driver’s fault levels in an accident. However, certain types of accidents have clear at-fault drivers.

In these types of accidents, the following drivers are likely to have higher levels of fault:

  • Head-on collisions: Because drivers must stay on the right side of the road (except in specific circumstances such as passing), the fault goes to drivers driving on the wrong side during the accident.
  • Side collisions: These accidents usually happen at intersections. Drivers who fail to yield the right of way or turn into oncoming traffic get higher fault levels in an accident.
  • Rear-end collisions: In these types of crashes, the fault usually falls on drivers that hit the other car from behind because they were following too closely.

A police report of the accident and the information you submit to your insurer can also help determine who’s more liable for the collision.

No matter the level of fault you have in a motor vehicle accident, you might want to retain the advice and guidance of an attorney if you’re planning to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver. If your claim is disputed and the case is taken to court, an attorney will fight to ensure you get adequate compensation for the damages you’ve suffered.


FindLaw Network