Can You Still Get Compensation for an Accident if You're Partially at Fault?
You can get compensation for an accident, even if it was partially your fault. In most cases, you can receive compensation equal to the percentage of the damages for which the other party is at fault.
Determining fault is a tricky proposition, as personal injury cases are rarely clear cut and dry. This is where your skilled attorney saves the day. When it comes to getting compensation for an accident in which you are partially at fault, there are a lot of complicated legal factors to consider.
Comparative Fault Laws
In Louisiana, a victim's award is reduced by the percentage of their fault. Consider the following scenario, one driver is driving without headlights, and the other driver is turning around talking to kids in the backseat. The two vehicles collide.
The courts will establish a percentage to represent the fault of each driver. Perhaps the driver with no headlights is 20 percent at fault for the accident. In this case, that driver would theoretically get 80 percent of the damage award.
Finding Fault in Car Accidents
One of the biggest challenges in any personal injury case is finding fault. There may be more than one entity responsible for an accident. If you were driving over the speed limit when you got hit by a distracted driver, the courts could find you partially responsible for the crash.
This means that you may have access to a reduced overall compensation award. If the other driver suffered losses, your insurance company would have to pay for a portion of their damages as well.
If you have been in a crash, it will pay off to get help from a personal injury lawyer in New Orleans as soon as possible after the accident. Early legal guidance can steer the outcome of a case in the right direction.
Compensatory Benefits Available After an Accident
As a victim of a crash, you can access a series of financial benefits. The compensation you receive can cover several areas of life. However, the two main fields are medical benefits and lost wages.
Typically, the courts will pay you for the medical expenses incurred from the accident. These include medical, surgical, and rehabilitative costs, ambulance fees, nursing care fees, and any medical equipment costs.
Lost Income Benefits
If you cannot work or run a business because of your injuries, you may recover damages. This award can also include future lost income and potential lost income.
If you miss a sales convention where you normally meet new clients, the court can award funds for potential lost sales. If you were a welder and can no longer use your hands, the courts may award compensation to cover the costs of your career change.
Common Scenarios in Which Both Drivers Share Liability
There are many situations in which more than one driver is at fault. If the car in front suddenly hits the brakes and you rear-end them, you can be held partially responsible for following too closely. Here are a few others:
- The driver in front of you slammed on the brakes as retaliation in a road rage situation
- The driver suddenly pulls out of a driveway into oncoming traffic
- The driver in front slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting a passing animal
- You look down to return a text and hit a driver who made an illegal lane change
There are countless scenarios in which fault is shared between parties. These cases are particularly challenging, and insurance companies typically want to settle them quickly to escape huge payouts.
These cases rely heavily on witness testimony, surveillance camera footage, and accident reconstruction. Your attorney will work hard to ensure that you are not penalized for more than the percentage of your fault.
Dealing With the Aftermath of a Car Crash
After an accident, you may be suffering from painful injuries, damaged property, loss of income, and a slew of other financial challenges. The insurance company may be trying to tempt you with a lowball offer, and you may not know where to turn. Avoid accepting the first offer from the insurance company. Also, seek legal counsel as soon as possible for further guidance.
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