If you’ve been injured in a car accident, and you want to obtain compensation for your injuries, you’ll need to show some degree of fault on behalf of the person or entity who you claim to be responsible for your injuries. If you were stopped at a red light for 10 seconds and suddenly rear-ended, you’re likely to be able to prove 100 percent fault on behalf of the person who ran into you. On the other hand, if you were trying to beat that red light and got into a collision in the intersection, some percentage of fault might also be attributable to you. That’s what’s known as the law of comparative negligence.
What If I Want to Avoid a Lawsuit For Now?
You don’t necessarily have to file a lawsuit in order to receive fair compensation for the injuries that you suffered. We can file a claim on your behalf with the insurer of the person who caused your accident. If he or she was uninsured or underinsured at the time of the crash, and you were covered by uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance, we can pursue one of those claims for you too.
Here’s how fault is determined in a claim when a judge and jury aren’t involved. After giving notice of your claim, we supplement it with police reports, medical bills, records and reports, photos of the accident scene and vehicles involved witness statements and even any traffic or surveillance videos. A plea of guilty to a traffic offense might even be used to help show fault. Your settlement package will consist of copies of all of this evidence, and once we’ve received everything, it’s all submitted to the opposing insurer along with our settlement demand. That’s when we begin negotiating the amount of any compensation to be paid with the opposing insurer. If we can’t agree on a settlement, you still have the option of filing a formal lawsuit.
Who Can Be Held At Fault?
Any person who was involved in a motor vehicle accident might be held at fault. If you were a passenger, your own driver might be held at fault. Any driver who collided with you can be held liable, and if that driver was using a company vehicle, his or her employer can be held liable too. The State of Washington and any of its agencies or administrative bodies can be held liable for an accident under any number of theories of liability. Counties and municipal entities can also be held liable under any of those theories. Even the federal government can be determined to be at fault for an accident and be compelled to pay damages.
The law of comparative negligence can operate as a partial affirmative defense in a personal injury case. If a jury determines that you were 30 percent at fault in an accident, and a $100,000 gross verdict is entered, your award will be reduced by 30 percent. Your $100,000 gross verdict then turns into a $70,000 net verdict.
Contact a Spokane Car Accident Lawyer
The issue of fault in a car accident case can quickly become complex. That’s why its important to retain an experienced and effective Spokane car accident lawyer. If you were injured in a car accident in or around Spokane, don’t hesitate to contact us to arrange for a free consultation and case evaluation. We’re going to listen to you carefully, answer your questions and advise you of your full range of legal options. Since evidence and witnesses can disappear, it’s far better for you to contact us right away after any accident.