Car accidents are quite common in the United States, and various legal principles come into play when they happen. Hence, it’s crucial for anyone involved in a car accident to have an understanding of these concepts in order to seek fair compensation with the assistance of a car accident lawyer.
One of the concepts in tort law which deals with wrongdoings is negligence. In a car accident case, negligence occurs when one party fails to exercise care while driving and causes harm to another party. For instance, if someone runs a light because they were distracted by texting or not paying attention to traffic signals, they may be considered negligent. Another important concept is negligence. This comes into play when both parties share some degree of fault for the accident. According to negligence laws, the court assesses each party’s level of fault using percentages. Each party then pays for their share of damages based on their percentage of fault.
For example, if driver A was speeding, but driver B didn’t check their rearview mirror before changing lanes, the fault lies on both, proportionately. This means that if the total damages amount to $10,000 in a situation where Driver A is found to be 70% at fault and Driver B 30% at fault, Driver A would be responsible for paying $7,000 (70%), while Driver B would be responsible for paying $3,000 (30%). A Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer can further explain this process in detail.
Statute Of Limitations
The statute of limitations refers to the time limit during which an injured party can file a lawsuit to seek compensation from those responsible for their injury. The duration varies from state to state but is typically between two and four years after the accident. It’s important not to miss this deadline as it could result in the loss of amounts that could have been used towards bills that insurers may have denied payment for.
In car accident litigation, the damages awarded or received can be categorized as either economic or non-economic. Economic damages include those that have a financial value, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Non-economic damages mainly consist of pain and suffering, loss of companionship (consortium), and emotional distress.
Insurance Coverage & Settlements
In the United States, all fifty states require drivers to have some form of auto insurance coverage. This helps cover injury-related losses resulting from a car accident caused by negligence on behalf of an individual.
When someone gets injured in an accident that wasn’t their fault, they have the option to file a claim with their insurance company. The insurer will then seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance.
It’s also possible for insurers to offer settlements before going to court. In these cases, lawyers from both parties negotiate to determine the amount of damages that each side is willing to accept or concede outside of court proceedings.
What Happens When Multiple Vehicles Are Involved In An Accident?
Different jurisdictions have laws regarding liability in vehicle accidents (also known as pile-ups). Here are some common scenarios:
- Comparative Fault: In these situations, each driver’s percentage of fault and liability is apportioned accordingly.
- No-Fault: No-fault laws apply in certain situations. This means that the individuals involved can receive compensation from their insurance companies regardless of who was more responsible for the incident.
- Modified Comparative Fault: In this scenario, specific guidelines dictate a threshold for plaintiffs to recover damages, and a claim is only valid if the level of fault doesn’t fall below that threshold. For example, California applies a 51% threshold under this statute.
Car accidents can result in several kinds of harm, such as injuries, financial setbacks caused by repair costs, and medical expenses that may arise after the incident. To effectively handle any settlements or court proceedings that may occur as a result of an auto accident, it is important to have knowledge of legal principles like negligence, statutes of limitations, and the various types and amounts of compensation available.