Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit If the Accident is Partly Your Fault
In some car accidents, it is easy to determine which party was at fault. But perhaps you have been involved in a Louisiana car accident where two or more drivers share responsibility. Even if this is the case, you can still receive compensation from a personal injury lawsuit.
Here are some examples of accident scenarios where fault can be spread among multiple people:
- A speeding car tries to change lanes on a freeway at night but collides with a pickup truck which does not have its headlights on.
- A motorcycle driver illegally tries to “split the lane” by driving between two lanes of traffic, but is struck by a car changing lanes without the use of a turn signal.
- An SUV tries to pass a tractor-trailer in a no-passing zone, but the 18-wheeler swerves out of its lane and collides with the SUV.
In years past, most states operated under a standard of “pure contributory negligence.” This means that if an injured individual was even slightly at fault in an accident, they would be prohibited from seeking compensation for their injuries. A few states still observe this concept when determining fault in traffic accidents. Louisiana does NOT observe contributory negligence.
Louisiana has adopted the principle of “comparative fault.” This approach allows people who were partly at fault in a Louisiana car accident to seek partial damages. The rule states that to the extent that someone was responsible for an accident, their damage amounts would be reduced proportionally.
For example, let’s say that a woman broke her legs in a car accident in which she was determined to be 30% at fault. If the courts ruled that her medical costs and related compensation totaled $20,000, then she would actually receive $14,000 ($20,000 minus 30%) under the comparative fault approach.
Unfortunately, there is no hard-and-fast formula to apportion comparative fault in an accident. Insurance company adjusters investigate the circumstances of an accident and assign a percentage of blame based on their findings.
In these cases, it is a good idea for accident victims to have a Louisiana personal injury attorney working for them to help negotiate a fair percentage of responsibility. Fault is the most important aspect in deciding on compensation for injuries in a Louisiana personal injury lawsuit. It is essential that you engage the services of a qualified Louisiana personal injury lawyer to protect your rights and interests.
The Louisiana personal injury lawyers at J. Price McNamara ERISA Insurance Claim Attorney can help you recover damages for medical bills, ongoing medical treatment, property damage, and other accident-related expenses. Contact us to schedule your FREE legal consultation today – (866) 248-0580.