When Two Drivers Are To Blame For A Crash
If you have been injured in a car accident, chances are that you are wondering whether any legal or financial opportunities for recourse are available to you. And yet, you may be hesitant to speak with a lawyer because you have a strong sense that you were partially to blame for what happened to you. It is important to understand that even if you were partially to blame for what occurred, you may be in a position to receive significant compensation as a result of the harm you have suffered. Don’t let your sense that you are partially to blame for your accident keep you from exploring your legal options.
If Your Accident Was Work-Related
If you were engaged in work-related activities at the time of your crash, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits are generally made available to full-time employees and part-time employees (although not independent contractors) in the event that they suffer work-related harm. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. This means that even if you were totally to blame for your car accident, unless you were drunk, high, engaging in road rage, or purposefully trying to get hurt, you should be entitled to these benefits. Working with an attorney can help to ensure that your workers’ compensation award is fairly valued and paid to you promptly.
Pure Comparative Negligence Model vs. Contributory Negligence
As an experienced Palm Bay, FL car accident lawyer – including those who practice at Tuttle Law, P.A. – can explain, different states treat the concept of partial fault differently. States like California and Florida are known as pure comparative negligence states. If your accident occurred in a pure comparative negligence state, you can pursue personal injury damages against others whose negligence, recklessness, or intentionally dangerous conduct directly contributed to the cause of your injuries, even if you were also partially to blame.
By contrast, if you live in a contributory negligence state, you may be barred from seeking financial restitution from others who were partially responsible for your crash if your fault exceeds a certain degree. In a tiny minority of states, you’ll likely be barred from seeking compensation at all, if you were partially to blame. In most contributory negligence states, you’ll remain entitled to pursue personal injury damages if you weren’t more than 50 percent to blame for what happened to you.
Pursuing Personal Injury Damages
Under either model, you will need to prove that the defendant in your lawsuit acted with negligence, was reckless, or engaged in intentionally dangerous conduct when they injured you. Also, underneath either model, the amount of compensation that you will be able to recover will be dependent upon the degree of fault to which you have been assigned. Say, for example, the total value of your harm has been calculated to be $100,000. You have been assigned 30% of the fault for your crash. You will, therefore, be entitled to pursue up to $70,000 in compensation from those responsible for the lion’s share of the harm caused.