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Contributory Vs Comparative Negligence

Different Kinds Of Negligence In A Car Accident

Determining fault in a car accident is crucial to getting compensation. No matter which side of the accident you were on, hiring an accident lawyer will protect you from paying more damages than necessary. Distracted driving, poor weather conditions, and drowsy driving are all common reasons behind traffic collisions.

Depending on the accident, it could be the actions of not one, but both, drivers that lead to the collision. Negligence occurs when someone lacks a reasonable amount of care in their situation, like not checking over their shoulder or following too closely. A Los Angeles traffic collision injury attorney can also tell you that fault may not be obvious right away.

Immediately following the accident, don’t admit any Fault, even if it seems like it was your error that led to the accident. You’ll need to call the police and file a police report, and the officer will record any details surrounding the accident, including Skid Marks and debris. Having an official police report following the accident will be valuable evidence of what happened. You should also exchange contact information with the other drivers involved. Following these steps can help you be better prepared when filing a claim with an Auto Accident Lawyer In Los Angeles.

If the accident involves another driver, there will always be some degree of Fault that must be proven. There are some occasions where the fault is very obvious. For example, if the other driver hit your car while it was parked, then it’s clear that their actions are what led to the accident. Other instances where fault can easily be placed on the other driver are when they’ve broken a traffic law and rear-ending accidents.

However, even in rear-ending accidents, it’s possible that a fraction of the fault can be placed on the other driver since their negligent actions contributed to the accident. For example, “brake checking” is when the front driver stomps on their brakes when they see that someone is tailing them too closely. Stopping for no external reason puts part of the blame on them. Contributory negligence and comparative negligence come into play when determining who should pay for the damages. Most states take the actions of both drivers into account when deciding who’s liable for the accident.

Comparative Negligence

Under the idea of Comparative Negligence, the defendant’s car wreck lawyer can raise a partial defense, saying that the plaintiff was partially at fault for the accident too. In these cases, the courts will look at each driver’s actions and calculate a percentage of fault. These percentages can reflect on the total amount of damages owed in two ways, depending on the state:

  • Pure comparative negligence – This is the kind of negligence adopted in the state of California. Under pure comparative negligence, the percentage of fault directly correlates to the percentage each driver owes. For example, if the total damages are $100,000, and one driver assumes 80% of the fault while the other assumes 20% of the fault, then one driver is liable for $80,000 while the other is liable for $20,000.
  • Modified comparative negligence – In “modified” comparative negligence states, the victim’s compensation stops at a certain level of liability. If the driver assumes fault for a greater percentage than the defendant, then they are not eligible for compensation. The driver must be less than 50% responsible for the car wreck in order to recover any of their damages.

If you live in a state that recognizes comparative negligence, it’s even more important to provide your traffic accident lawyer with as much information as possible. Make sure that you take photos of all the damages, including property damage and personal injury. You should also get the police officer to send you a copy of the completed accident report.

Contributory Negligence

Contributory Negligence is the least common form of negligence, and it’s only followed in Alabama, Virginia, Washington D.C., North Carolina, and Maryland. Under contributory negligence, a driver cannot sue for damages if they themselves contributed to the accident in some way. If they hold any level of fault, even if it’s a minuscule amount, they are not entitled to any compensation following the accident.

For example, a motorist who turned left in front of a speeding car without signaling can’t sue the other driver for damages because they failed to use their turn signal. The oncoming driver didn’t know they were going to turn, so part of the blame is on them. The accident wouldn’t have happened without the driver’s own negligence, so they cannot get compensated.

Grey Law is an experienced Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney that can further explain the different concepts of negligence. If you’ve been in a car accident and you need help seeking compensation, don’t hesitate to reach out to Grey Law for a consultation. They can treat your case with care and determine the best course of action.

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