Liability in a Car Accident
Following a crash, the most important factor is determining liability. This will dictate who is responsible for the accident and potentially responsible for any damages or injuries that occurred. Liability isn’t always straightforward, however, as numerous parties can be partially at fault.
- For example, the following may be liable for an accident:
- Multiple drivers on the road
- Commercial trucking company
- Vehicle / product manufacturer
- Public transportation company
- Government entity responsible for the road design
- Owner of a bar or restaurant who allowed a drunk driver on the road
As you can see, there are numerous parties that may be held liable in an accident, which is why it is crucial to retain a skilled car accident attorney in Woodstock who can carefully investigate your crash.
What Is Comparative Negligence?
While some car accidents are clearly the fault of one party, others are a little more complicated. If you were partially at fault for an accident caused primarily by another driver, you can still file a claim for compensation; however, your claim will likely be subjected to comparative negligence.
What does this mean? Say you were hit because a driver ran a red light. He, in turn, contends you made an illegal turn. In comparison, a jury may find running the red light accounted for 70% percent of the accident, while the illegal turn accounted for 30% of the accident. This percentage is used to calculate the amount of damages you can recover. Therefore, in this scenario, if the jury awarded you $100,000, 30% of that total would be deducted meaning you would recover $70,000.
If you were 20% at fault, you will have 20% of the damages deducted from your total recovery. That means if you were eligible to recover $800,000, you could only receive $640,000 under comparative negligence laws.
Why You Need an Advocate Through This Time
Insurance companies will often try to shift the blame equally to both drivers, limiting the compensation provided in the accident—or blame it on you entirely. Even if you were partially at fault, it is important that you limit the percentage of fault and insurance company places on you. When the other driver is completely at fault, you could still be blamed for a percentage so that the insurance company can avoid a full payout. Don’t leave your rights unprotected!
Based in Woodstock, Amanda Hall Injury Law represents car accidents victims in Canton and across Cherokee County. Reach out to our team at (678) 445-7423.