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Comparative negligence in Montana

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2023 | Car Accidents |

If you have been in a car accident involving multiple vehicles, the at-fault driver or drivers will be legally liable for any accident-related damages, including medical expenses and lost wages. Other parties, such as the owner of the vehicle, may also be liable for damages.

Generally, to be held responsible for a motor vehicle accident, your negligence or recklessness, must have caused or contributed to the accident and the victims’ injuries and damages.

For example, in a two-car accident when one vehicle rear-ended another vehicle that was stopped at a red light, it is likely that the driver of the moving vehicle will be found 100 percent at fault for the accident for driving at an excessive rate of speed or following too closely behind the stopped vehicle.

Montana follows modified comparative negligence law

However, most accidents are not solely caused by one party. For example, if a driver was texting and driving and struck another driver who ran a red light, both parties could be partially at fault. The driver who was texting may have been negligent in driving while distracted while the driver who ran the red light may have been negligent in failing to follow a traffic signal.

Under Montana’s modified comparative negligence law, a party that is partially at fault for an accident can still recover damages if they are less than 51 percent at fault. Any damages awarded will be reduced based on fault apportionment. For example, if a driver is found to be 30 percent at fault, they will only recover $70,000 of the $100,000 awarded to them.


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