In accidents involving a rear-end collision or a drunk driver, the party at fault is often obvious. In most cases, however, the question of who is responsible can be more complicated. Due to the fact that liability is a major part of determining any settlement, insurance companies can spend a lot of time and money trying to spread the blame around, hoping to minimize their liability.
In certain circumstances multiple parties are responsible, which can make it difficult to determine liability. If you are partially responsible for your car accident, negligence laws in your state will determine whether or not you can still collect damages.
Who Is Liable for My Car Accident?
In California, for example, the state uses comparative negligence laws to determine a settlement if multiple parties are liable. Comparative negligence means that you can still collect damages as the injured party even if you are partially at fault, but how liable you are could affect your settlement. If a judge finds you to be 35 percent liable for the accident, your settlement will be reduced by that amount; however, you can still collect 65 percent of the damages from the defendant.
Other states like Maryland and Virginia use contributory negligence laws to determine liability, which can drastically alter the results of any case. In states that use purely contributory negligence laws, if the plaintiff is found even 1 percent liable for his own injuries, he is ineligible to collect any damages. In these states, insurance companies work very hard to get injured parties to admit even partial responsibility in any accident.
In San Diego, a 74-year-old woman was driving east on Marilou Road when a collision sent her blue Toyota Camry into oncoming traffic. Near Euclid Avenue and Federal Boulevard, she collided head-on with a Toyota Corolla that was traveling northbound, sustaining critical injuries.
The driver of the Camry was rushed to a nearby hospital to be treated for internal injuries and a concussion. The driver of the Corolla sustained minor injuries while his passenger suffered a broken leg.
In cases like these, each party can face a different degree of liability, which could make a huge difference in their settlement. To help determine liability in your auto accident, call Dudek Law Firm to discuss your case. Our attorneys can help you stand up to big insurance companies and get fair compensation so you can focus on your recovery.
[Did You Know: In states that use modified comparative fault laws, a driver cannot collect damages if he is more than 50% responsible for his own injuries.]
Dudek Law Firm, APC—San Diego Injury Attorney