After a car accident in Connecticut, the essential question remains: Which party was at fault? Many Connecticut drivers fear that officials will place the blame in their corner for speeding — even if the other party’s negligence caused the accident.

If you were driving safely and responsibly, but your speedometer ran high, law enforcement officers and courts will consider this as one factor among many when assessing fault.

Modified comparative negligence

As FindLaw explains, fault for car accidents relies on negligence, and Connecticut is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that parties may collect damages even if they are partially to blame for an accident, as long as they are less than 50% responsible.

In other words, you may be speeding and collide with a driver who runs a red light while texting. While you violated the law and acted negligently by speeding, the other driver’s texting and violating traffic signals was the more egregious behavior. In this case, a court would likely put the other driver at greater fault, but the judge would reduce the compensation you receive by the percentage you were responsible. In other words, if the judge determined you to be 15% at fault for your speeding, you would be eligible to receive 85% of the total damages.

Negligence and fault

Any time you disregard traffic laws and reasonable safety precautions, you are at risk of fault for an accident. This would include speeding, reckless driving, disregarding traffic signals, driving an unfit vehicle or any such action. Any of these may constitute negligence and fault.

This does not necessarily mean that you are more responsible than the other party, however. As in the example above, officials will assess fault as a percentage and hold you responsible to the degree you contributed to the accident.