It can be tricky in an auto accident case to decide who was at fault. The law looks at guilt in such cases through the lens of the doctrine of negligence. Understanding the doctrine of negligence will help you to decide whether you should file for damages.
What Is Negligence?
Whenever you sit behind the wheel of a car, you assume the responsibility to drive the car in a safe manner. There are many examples of negligence including but not limited to failure to stop at a light, failure to yield, speeding, racing, improperly changing lanes, etc. While some of these laws might seem tedious to you, each one plays a role in keeping people safe. If you break one of these laws and cause an accident, you have breached your duty to drive in a responsible manner, and can be legally described as a negligent driver.
Often, there is more than one guilty party in an accident. For example, if someone pulls out in front of you at an intersection, you might think that they caused the accident, but if you were driving too fast, you limited your ability to respond to the situation, and thus can be held partially responsibility in that you too were negligent.
Should You File for Damages if You Are Partially Responsible
In some states, if you are even partially responsible for an accident, you cannot sue any other drivers for damages. In other states, you can file for damages if you were partially responsible for an accident, but the amount of money you can take home in damages will be adjusted based on how much at fault you were. For example, if police determine that you were 30% responsible for an accident and a judge awards you $1,000 in damages, you would only be able to take home $700. Thus, before you read the situation for yourself and determine that the other driver was at fault, you should wait to hear back from the police and/or insurance adjustors to see what they decided about fault. As long as you stand to take home more money than you spend on your trial, you should at least consider filing for damages.
If someone else caused an accident, and you ended up getting hurt, you should not feel like you have to shoulder the full burden of your medical costs. Depending on whether you too were negligent in your driving duties, you should be able to file for damages and receive money to help cover your medical bills.
To learn more, contact an auto accident attorney like Kornfeld Robert B Inc PS.Share
21 August 2015
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