Often in personal injury cases, especially in car accident cases, it’s not always easy to know who was at fault. Sometimes both parties share some degree of negligence that led to the accident. Your degree of responsibility can significantly affect your case.

Rhode Island is one of the 13 U.S. states that follow a pure comparative fault system. This means, if you have been a victim of a car accident, you can recover a certain amount of compensation for your injuries even though you were negligent in your own driving, regardless of your degree of negligence.

3 Comparative Fault Systems

In the United States, there are three types of comparative fault systems:

Pure contributory negligence.

Under this system, a party cannot claim damages for injuries even if that party is only 1 percent at fault.

Pure comparative fault.

Under this system, both parties can claim damages depending on their degree of negligence.

Modified comparative fault.

Under this system, a party cannot claim damages if the party is more than 51 percent at fault.

For example, if one driver ran a red light, and the other took a left turn too soon, and this resulted in a car accident, both parties would have contributed to the accident, and both would be considered negligent. The issue here would be the judicial decision about what degree each party was at fault. In this case, the jury may decide that the driver who ran the red light was 70 percent at fault, while the other driver was 30 percent at fault. If the damages were $100,000, the driver who turned too soon would receive $70,000, and the other driver would receive $30,000.

Have You Been Involved In A Rhode Island Motor Vehicle Accident?

If you've been hurt in a motor vehicle accident you need to speak to an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online call our Warwick office directly at 401.946.3200 to schedule your free consultation. We help accident victims in Providence, Warwick and all areas of Rhode Island.


Christopher L. Russo
Helping Rhode Island personal injury victims for nearly three decades to get the compensation they deserve.