You can still recover compensation of you are partly to blame for an accident.
Mobile, AL- Driving is a complicated task, so it’s not unusual for motorists to make a mistake that could have a calamitous outcome. A minor mistake or misstep can lead to a deadly or injurious accident. A large number of accidents are not the sole fault of one party; instead, an accident is a result of both parties engaging in reckless and negligent behavior. That leaves accident victims with the question: How will that affect my injury claim?
USAttorneys recommends you speak with an accident lawyer near your Alabama location to evaluate your accident and determine if you are partly to blame for your accident. An attorney will do everything in their power to ensure you recover the compensation you deserve.
First, we’ll explore a few scenarios in which an accident victim could be considered partly to blame for an accident:
Scenario 1: For instance, a pedestrian is crossing at an intersection, and is struck by a car. The pedestrian was in a crosswalk, but they were too busy looking at their phone to notice the light had changed and were run over as a consequence. The driver is mostly at fault because the pedestrian always has the right of way, but the pedestrian made a mistake that led to their injuries, so they too must take some of the blame.
Scenario 2: Another example would be if a motorist is rear-ended while making a right turn without using their turn signal. The driver making the right turn may be considered partly at fault, but most of the liability will fall on the motorist who struck them because they were following too closely.
Scenario 3: Another instance in which an accident victim may be considered partly at fault for their injuries is if they fail to wear their seatbelts. In this scenario, the striking motorist takes on the bulk of liability but alleges the victim’s injuries were worse because they weren’t wearing a seatbelt as a means to reduce the amount of compensation they pay.
Even if you are partly to blame for your accident, you can pursue a personal injury or wrongful death claim, depending on the actions you took and your level of responsibility. In regards to car accidents, some actions are considered more negligent than others. Take scenario two, sure not using a turn signal is negligent because you aren’t telling other motorists why you are stopping, but following another car too closely is more dangerous and therefore more negligent. In that scenario, the striking motorists would be assigned the majority of liability and would be responsible for compensating the victim.
Alabama personal injury statute uses and contributory negligence standard when more than one party takes the blame for a collision or the extent of a victim’s injuries. A claim of contributory negligence, which usually surfaces early on in the negotiation process, essentially states that a victim’s actions contributed to crash, and they are therefore also accountable.
If contributory negligence claim is made, each party will be assigned a percentage of blame, depending on their actions. Should the accident victim (the plaintiff) be assigned more than 50 percent of the blame, they cannot file an accident claim. Accident victims who are less than 50 percent to blame for an accident can file an injury claim, but the final settlement amount they are awarded will have their percentage of liability subtracted from the total. So, say you were assigned 15 percent liability, the final amount you receive would only be 85 percent of the overall award.
If you are partly to blame for an accident, USAttorneys strongly recommends you retain one our accident lawyers in Mobile, Alabama to minimize your liability and maximize your settlement.