Car accidents, even if not fatal, are hardly any fun. Between incident reports and other paperwork from insurance companies, a car accident is mostly a legal hurdle that must be overcome, in order to ensure that you are getting the benefits you deserve. However, when parties involved in a car accident both deny fault, you will need a car accident lawyer to help get to the bottom of the case.
Robert White is an Odessa-based personal injury attorney who has many years of experience representing car accident victims. He therefore knows what to look out for when trying to determine fault in a car accident. Use the following information to help.
Understanding the Cause of an Accident
Fault is usually only straightforward in a handful of cases. For example, rear ends are almost always the fault of the following vehicle, while left-turn collisions typically fall on the one turning left. Most other car accident cases, however, are a little harder to understand. Generally speaking, a court will use comparative and contributory negligence to determine fault.
About Comparative Negligence
Comparative negligence is an inclusive way of assigning fault that allocates it between the parties. Practiced in most states, this system allows the defendant to shift some blame onto the plaintiff for causing the accident. For instance, if a plaintiff was speeding during an accident, the plaintiff could be held partially responsible.
You will typically find two forms of comparative negligence that are adopted by different states.
- Pure Comparative Negligence: Even if an accident victim caused the accident through negligent action, he or she may be able to receive some compensation for the injury itself.
- Modified Comparative Negligence: If an accident victim’s degree of fault is higher than the other party’s, the victim can only receive a limited amount of compensation.
About Contributory Negligence
Not practiced in many states, contributory negligence can allow a defendant to deny fault entirely if he or she can prove that the accident was caused by the plaintiff’s negligence. In other words, if the accident victim played any part (however minor) in causing the accident, the victim may not be entitled to any compensation whatsoever.
Discuss Your Legal Options with a Car Accident Lawyer
Determining fault can be a pretty tricky business and it is very important that you gather as much information as possible during the initial stages of the accident claim. You should also watch what you say and what you sign, as insurance companies and other agents will definitely try to find any way to limit your possible compensation.
Attorney Robert White and his team have represented numerous car accident victims. We understand all too well just how harsh the legal system can be. There is therefore no reason why you ever have to feel overwhelmed. By reaching out to a representative, you can easily learn more about the legal process and what you need to do to get the ball rolling.
For all other questions, Robert White would love to hear from you.