Car Accident Liability Claims Explained

The rules around liability and insurance when it comes to car accident claims will vary a lot from state to state. Usually, the driver who is at fault will be legally responsible (liable) for any losses and damages incurred. This means that determining who caused the car accident is critical. They are likely to have to pay for any car repairs and costs incurred due to injury. 

Determining Fault

In most states, the person who is deemed to be at fault will pay for any claims caused by the car accident. This usually means that their insurance company will foot the bill. What is important to consider is how the law determines liability. In some cases, this may be relatively simple. If one driver broke a traffic law or there are a lot of impartial witnesses to an accident, it could be easy to determine liability. However, in most cases, it may not be so clear who is at fault. 

Proving liability means you have to show that the driver was negligent. This means they breached their duty of care and drove in a way that created an unnecessary level of risk. Many accidents are caused by sheer carelessness. This can be considered negligence. If you can prove that they violated their legal duty of care, you can go some way to determining fault. 

However, proving negligence isn’t enough. You also have to show that this negligence directly or proximately caused the car accident. This basically means that the car accident would not have happened if they had not been so careless. This negligence must also have led to actual harm – either vehicle damage or personal injury. 

Shared Fault

Even if you were partially to blame for a car accident, in most states, you would still be able to get compensation for any losses incurred due to the negligence of others. In some states, you will receive nothing if you are partly at fault. 

In states that apply pure comparative fault, a person who was partly to blame could still get compensation from others. This would be at a ratio that directly reflects their portion of blame. For example, if you were 70% to blame for a car accident that caused $10,000 worth of damages, you could collect $3,000 from other parties. 

In states that apply modified comparative fault, you can only collect damages from other parties if you are deemed to be less than 50% responsible. In a small number of states, you cannot receive any compensation if you are deemed to be even 1% responsible for a car accident. 

No-Fault States

Around a dozen states follow the no-fault car insurance system. This usually means that drivers must carry no-fault insurance. With this kind of insurance coverage, a driver would always turn to their own car insurance provider after a car accident, no matter who was deemed responsible for the crash. 

In this case, it may still be possible to file a lawsuit against the driver who was at fault if your claim for compensation meets certain thresholds. For example, state law may allow you to gain compensation from the driver at fault if your medical bills go beyond $5,000. New York is an example of a state where no-fault car insurance is mandatory. In this case, you may want to contact NY personal injury lawyers. 

In Summary

Car accident liability claims can vary a lot from state to state. It is important to determine who was at fault for the car accident. Usually, the person at-fault will be deemed liable and will have to incur the cost of damages and injury. This would come directly from their insurance provider. In some states, fault can be shared, or people will have no-fault insurance as mandatory.  

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