What to Do When Fault Isn’t Obvious in a Car Accident
Car accidents are never fun, and neither is filing an accident report or an insurance claim. Unfortunately, these are routine parts of the accident process, and when one of the involved parties denies fault or when fault itself is not so obvious to determine, this process can get a lot more complicated. It helps during this time to have a professional car accident lawyer on your side to deal with these complicated legal questions and get you the compensation you deserve.
The attorneys at Peter Davis Law have been representing accident victims for years, and we know exactly what to look out for when determining fault under tricky circumstances.
Who Caused the Accident?
For some car accident types, determining fault is pretty straightforward. For example, if you have been involved in a left-turn collision or a rear-end, figuring out the responsible party tends to be easy enough. Beyond those few examples, however, determining the negligent driver gets a little murky. In these cases, the court assigns comparative or contributory negligence.
What is Comparative Negligence?
Comparative negligence is a system that allocates faults among the parties involved. Used in most states, comparative negligence allows a defendant to claim that the plaintiff was partially at fault for the accident. For example, if the plaintiff was speeding, the defendant can successfully claim that the plaintiff is at least partially responsible for the ensuing crash.
Different states adopt different forms of comparative negligence, which are outlined below.
- Pure Comparative Negligence: An accident victim can receive at least partial compensation for injuries despite their own negligence. This remains the case even if the degree of fault is higher than the defendant’s.
- Modified Comparative Negligence: The compensation an accident victim can receive is limited if the victim’s degree of fault exceeds the defendant’s.
What Is Contributory Negligence?
Contributory negligence means that a defendant may be able to avoid fault altogether if he or she can prove that the accident was due to the negligence of the victims themselves. In effect, contributory negligence prevents a negligent accident victim from receiving any form of compensation. As such, contributory negligence can be a harsh system, since it only takes the slightest amount of negligence to keep a victim from the compensation they may need.
There are only a few states that still use contributory negligence.
Discuss Your Case with a Car Accident Lawyer Today
When one party in a car accident denies fault, the consequences can be extreme depending on where you live and the quality of your legal representation. However, that does not mean the process needs to be overwhelming.
The attorneys at Peter Davis Law are very well versed in dealing with all kinds of personal injury cases, and if you need a car accident lawyer, you have come to the right place. We know how to work around issues of both comparative and contributory negligence, and by bringing your case to us, we will be able to brainstorm different legal options that can help get you the benefits you deserve.
Contact one of our representatives directly to learn more.