MO and KS comparative fault laws in motor vehicle crash casesIf you were partially at fault in causing a motor vehicle accident, you may still be able to receive compensation from the driver who was primarily responsible for the collision.

However, how your negligence affects your claim won't be the same in Kansas and Missouri because they follow different comparative negligence laws.

Missouri’s Pure Comparative Negligence Law

There are two comparative law doctrines: pure comparative negligence and modified comparative negligence. Under both, a victim in a motor vehicle accident cannot receive 100 percent of the compensation they would otherwise deserve if they're found to be partially at fault for causing the wreck.

Missouri follows the pure comparative negligence law. It provides that an individual can receive some compensation no matter what their percentage of fault was in causing the crash. For example, if a victim had a claim for $300,000 but was found 60 percent at fault, they could still recover 40 percent of the amount they were owed, which is $120,000.

Kansas’ Modified Comparative Negligence Law

Kansas follows the modified comparative negligence doctrine. If the victim is less than 50 percent at fault, the result would be the same as in Missouri. The amount of compensation that the person would receive would be reduced by their percentage of fault.

However, if it's determined they're 50 percent or more to blame, the consequence is much harsher than in Missouri: they're not entitled to any money.

What to Do If You're Partially at Fault for Causing the Collision

Are you worried that you were partially to blame for your injuries? Is the insurance company claiming it owes you less because of your negligence? Here are important steps to take to strengthen your claim:

  • Don't admit guilt or make statements such as “I’m sorry” that can be misinterpreted as an admission of guilt.
  • Don't assume the insurance carrier is right if it claims you were partially at fault. It could be an unfair insurance tactic to try to reduce or deny your claim.
  • Hire a skilled motor vehicle accident attorney in Kansas City as soon as possible to discuss your liability concerns. Make sure your legal counsel understands the details of comparative laws in both states and will conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of your collision to develop the best strategies to deal with your partial fault and the carrier's arguments.

Were You Injured In a Kansas City Area Car Accident?

You need to speak with an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.


James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.