If you've been in an accident where you rear ended someone else, you may be feeling hopeless about your case. Doubtless you've heard from relatives and your insurance company that the person in the back is always 100% at fault in rear end collisions. However, this may not be the case when it comes to your accident. Depending on the details of your accident, you may be able to prove the other driver was partially at fault.
Civil accident law is built around the idea of negligence, which applies fault to drivers whose conduct falls below the standards of law, even if their actions are unintentional. Negligence can come in many forms while driving, but these are the actions most commonly accepted by the courts as example of negligent driving:
If any of these actions result in an accident with another driver, the one who committed negligence will be considered at fault. Because a few of these actions are required for a rear-end accident to occur, such as following too closely or failing to watch the road, the driver who hits the person in front of them is almost always considered to be somewhat at fault, even if the other driver is negligent.
However, demonstrating negligence on the part of the person you hit may be able to limit how much fault you have and, consequently, how much you have to pay in court.
Proving The Fault Of The Other Driver
If you believe the other driver was negligent in a way that led you to hit them, you may be able to use their actions to demonstrate fault in court. Before you decide to pursue an argument of split fault, you should talk to your lawyer about whether the other driver did any of the following prior to the accident:
If you have proof the driver you hit committed any of these acts, your lawyer may be able to convince a judge the fault should be split between both parties. However, even if this is successful, the results you see in the court room depend on a few different factors.
What Does Shared Fault Mean For Your Case?
Before you can know how proving fault on behalf of the other driver will help you, you'll need to consult your lawyer and your state law.
If your state follows the principle of contributory negligence, you may be in luck. Under this rule, proving that the party seeking compensation is in any way at fault for the accident will result in their case being dismissed. If you can prove the other driver was partially at fault in such a state, you may not have to pay anything to them at all.
On the other hand, most states follow the rule of comparative negligence, which means compensation is split between both parties if both are at fault. If you can show the other party was negligent in such a state, you'll usually see the judgement against you significantly reduced. However, if the judge rules you are both equally at fault, you may still be able to avoid paying the other party anything.
If you're worried about how you'll pay a judgement against you, maybe it's time to talk to your lawyer about pursuing a split fault argument in court. It's not likely you'll be able to prove you have no fault in your rear-ending accident, but you may be able to show the other party has enough fault to save you some serious cash.
Ceck out sites like http://www.lvaccident.com for more info.
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