In car accident cases, the most important part of winning your settlement is proving the fault of the other driver. Unfortunately, not every car accident case is cut and dried, meaning fault isn’t always clear, leaving you in a very difficult situation. However, if fault isn’t clear, there are still a few things you can do to work towards the settlement that you need and deserve. Read on to learn what to do when fault isn’t clear in a car accident, and find out how consulting an experienced car accident lawyer can help.
Allocating Fault through Comparative Negligence
One of the pathways of assigning blame in car accident cases where fault isn’t immediately clear is known as comparative negligence. Under comparative negligence rules, fault is assigned proportionally to both parties involved in the car accident case. For example, if you were in a car accident where you were speeding, but the other person still hit you needlessly, then comparative negligence might hold you 10% responsible and the other party 90%. So, if you are awarded $10,000 compensation, you will only receive $9,000 because of your 10% fault.
Depending on the state you live in, there are two types of comparative negligence laws: Pure comparative negligence and modified comparative negligence. Under pure comparative negligence, accident victims are eligible to receive some compensation, even if found negligent. Under modified comparative negligence, victim compensation is limited depending on the amount of fault assigned. Typically, a victim’s negligence allocation must be under 50% for them to receive compensation.
Shifting Fault with Contributory Negligence
If you’ve been a victim of a car accident in certain states, you should be aware of a concept known as contributory negligence. Contributory negligence claims allow the party that initiated the accident to completely avoid liability if they are able to prove that the victim was recklessly negligent. In fact, the degree of negligence is not even taken into account, meaning if the victim was negligent in any way that added to the accident then they are not eligible to receive compensation. However, for contributory negligence to be granted, the liable party must provide evidence of the victim’s negligence.
Blaming the Victim
Being involved in a car accident case that involves a contributory negligence claim can be extremely stressful, making it extremely important that you understand the type of evidence the liable party may use against you. Some factors that may be used to prove contributory negligence include driving erratically or at high speeds, unnecessarily darting into the street as a pedestrian and choosing to ride in a car with an intoxicated driver. Any of these circumstance may lead to a successful contributory negligence claim and may cost you your needed compensation.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer to Help with Your Case
In car accident cases where fault isn’t clear, it can be hard to know how to proceed. You may find yourself in a vulnerable position where your settlement is at stake. If you’ve been a victim in a car accident and are having trouble proving fault, you need to hire a car accident lawyer from the McMahan Law Firm. The Insiders at the McMahan Law Firm will expertly handle your car accident case, working to ensure that you get the kind of compensation you need to move on with your life. Begin your consultation with the McMahan Law Firm today!