What You Should Know About Comparative Negligence Laws in Pennsylvania

Not all car accidents are black and white, meaning that it is not always 100% the fault of one party. In fact, evidence can prove that fault can be any split, even split, or amongst over 3 or more vehicles. To exercise fairness when appointing fault, Pennsylvania follows comparative negligence laws. Follow along to learn more about these laws and how an experienced York County, PA car accident attorney at Ilkhanoff & Silverstein can stand by your side to fight for the financial compensation you rightfully deserve for your endured injuries.

What do Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence laws state?

Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence laws state that your contributory negligence does not bar you from seeking compensation for damages, such as medical bills and lost wages, so long as you were less negligent than the other party.

Under this law, each party in the personal injury claim is assigned a percentage of fault that directly reflects how much their negligence contributed to the accident and the subsequent damages. For example, if the court determines that you were 20% at fault and that the damages totaled $100,000, then you would receive 80% of the settlement award, i.e. $80,000.

It is important to note that Pennsylvania follows a 51% comparative negligence rule, which means that you can only recover damages if you were found to be less than 51% at fault.

How do I prove the fault of the other party?

It is vital that you collect evidence from the car accident, such as eyewitness statements, accident reconstruction, photos and videos of the scene, video surveillance, and vehicle inspection, to properly prove the fault of the other party. The following are some examples of negligence that, if applicable, you should be pointing out in your defense:

  • Violation of traffic laws, such as running a red light, turning at a no-turn on red, or speeding.
  • Display of a level of impairment due to drugs or alcohol.
  • Failure to keep a proper lookout due to distracted driving.
  • Failure to use headlights when driving at night or during severe weather conditions.

What is the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania?

The statute of limitations for a personal injury claim in the state of Pennsylvania is generally two years from the date of your accident. This makes it crucial for you to retain the services of a skilled York County, PA auto accident attorney as soon as possible so that you are not permanently barred from filing.


We understand that going through the legal system alone can be both confusing and highly stressful. That is why it is our job to help you through every step of the process ahead. For years, we have been helping clients throughout Lancaster County and its surrounding areas through a wide range of legal matters, including personal injury cases, criminal defense matters, family law issues, estate planning law matters, and more. If you need legal assistance, we are here to help. Contact Ilkhanoff & Silverstein today. 

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