Who is at fault – the bike or the car? For most accidents, there’s rarely one party that carries 100 percent blame. It’s normal for a significant amount of blame to be apportioned to either party involved based on available evidence as to what happened. You may have encountered a negligent driver while driving above the speed limit; if an accident occurs within such a scenario, you are also partly to blame. Different states apply different rules concerning negligence. Here are three common negligence rules you’ll encounter across different states. Psst; check here for the leading bicycle accident lawyer JD Injury APC.
1: Pure Comparative Negligence
In this type of negligence law, if an accident occurs and it is found out that the parties involved shared part of the blame, insurance companies slash claims by the percentage factor a person was deemed responsible for. For instance, if you are found to be 20 percent to blame for your injuries due to some factors from the accident, you will only be liable to 80 percent of the claim awarded.
Luckily for you, California State is among the 12 states that use this type of system, so the answer is Yes! You can sue, but keep in mind that your claim will be awarded depending on your level of blame.
2: Modified Comparative Negligence
The majority of states use modified comparative negligence law. In this case, if the blame is determined to be more than 50 percent for one party involved in an accident, they automatically void their claim validity. They will pay for their hospital bills and any repairs for the damages incurred. The other driver, although partly to blame, won’t be liable for any damages.
3: Contributory Negligence
Most states moved from using this law, and as of now, it’s only applicable in 6 states. This is the harshest of the three. In case of an accident, a party automatically loses its claim validity if found to bear the slightest responsibility. For instance, if it’s determined that you were 10 percent responsible for an accident, you will receive nothing from the other party’s insurance.
What to Do After an Accident
After an accident where you may have reason to believe that you are partly to blame, the best thing to do is keep calm and assess the situation. Ensure that you disclose as little information as you can about what you think the cause of the accident to be to either bystanders or the other party involved. Just have a general conversation. You should do your best to help the case to your advantage by taking clear photos of the scene and getting witnesses’ contacts if possible. The reason is to avoid implicating yourself when in the real sense, you may have played a very insignificant role or even played no role. Facts will be established later on based on many factors from the scene. Your attorney will use the information you collect as a basis to get you the least percentage of the blame.
You should ensure to get a medical evaluation, even if you think your injuries aren’t serious enough to warrant it.
How Negligence Affects Your Case
It’s important to understand how negligence is fundamental in determining whether or not you will win the case, especially when you share it to a degree. It will depend on how you’ll prove the defendant went against the following sections that make up a worthy negligence claim.
Factor 1: Duty
Duty is a legal term that establishes responsibility; this relationship should come about depending on the nature of responsibility the defendant has in ensuring the plaintiff is not injured in any way. In the case of an accident, it should be proven that the defendant had a moral obligation of following traffic rules to avoid hurting others through possible accidents.
Factor 2: Breach of Duty
The court will then seek to determine if the defendant acted (or not) in a certain way that led to a breach of duty. An example of this breach in accidents is when a driver chooses to ignore traffic rules or drives when under the influence of drugs or alcohol and causes an accident that injures others.
Factor 3: Causation
There should be a ‘beyond doubt’ causation link between what happened to the plaintiff and the defendant’s negligence. The plaintiff should show that the injuries or damages they suffered resulted from the defendant’s breach of duty.
If all the above aspects of negligence can be proven, the plaintiff has a valid cause for seeking a claim from the defendant.