Rockaway & Greenhouse, LLP

Protecting Victims of Industrial, Environment and Personal Injury Neglect

The Basics Of Car Accident Injury Cases

November 17, 2018

The cases involved in car accidents are different from state to state. If more than one driver caused the accident then who would be at fault? And in “no fault” states how do these injury cases work?

In most states the driver that caused the accident is the one at fault and responsible for liability. The insurance company from the driver at fault covers the damages.

Determining Fault In A Car Accident

Providing fault and liability in a fault state is what will make and settle your case.

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Within these states there lies a difference in law but determining who was at fault is key in “fault” states.

Determining fault in a car accident is fairly simple especially when the accident involves the driver rear-ending another vehicle and there are witnesses at the scene of the incident. A Houston car accident attorney may be able to give you a better idea of who is at fault based on their experience with similar past cases.

However, other times the driver at fault is not easily identified. In order to identify the one at fault one must prove three things:

  1. A legal duty was owed

All drivers behind the wheel owe a legal duty to other drivers and everyone else on the road; drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

  1. A duty was breached

The accuser must prove the accused for its negligence. A breach in car accidents exists when the behavior of the driver who is at fault is compared to what a reasonable driver would have done. The driver in question is considered at fault from not being careful on the road. Proof that the accused driver violated a traffic law will determine that a duty was breached.

  1. The breach of duty led to injuries

Accusing the neglector at fault is not enough to make the accused responsible for the accident and injuries. The driver’s negligence has to be the direct cause of the accident, this means that the accident would have not happened if the accused would have been more careful on the road.

Shared Fault In Car Accident Cases

The amount of compensation the inured person recovers could have an effect if the injured person is also at fault. In some cases the injured person also at fault won’t be able to recover any compensation for the accident. The rules in place determines the impact that shared fault will have in your state.

Pure Comparative Fault States

In these states, the injured driver who was also at fault of the accident can still be compensated in an amount that depends on the injured person’s share of the fault. If Bill is 70% responsible for causing the accident, and his damages add up to $10,000 then he can collect$3,000 from the other parties at fault.

Modified Comparative Fault States

In these states the injured person can only collect damages if he or she is less than 50 percent responsible for the accident. If Bill’s blame drops to 40% then he can collect $6,000. However, if he is still 70% responsible then he cannot collect anything.

Contributory Negligence States

In these states the injured person who shares negligence in an accident, even 1 percent will not be able to get compensation from any other party at fault.

Car Accidents In “No Fault States”

In “no fault” states (District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Utah), an injured driver typically turns to his insurance company after a car accident.

The only way the injured person can file a lawsuit against the neglector is if the car accident involved a serious injury.