There are numerous misconceptions surrounding legal action in the aftermath of a crash. One such misconception is that you cannot file a lawsuit against another party if you were partly to blame for a crash.
However, this is not true in states that observe comparative fault laws, including Louisiana.
What is comparative fault?
Comparative fault is an approach to negligence that allows victims injured in an accident to recover damages even if they contributed to the accident. However, their financial award will be reduced in proportion to their percentage of fault.
In other words, if you get hurt in a crash and it is determined that you were 30 percent to blame for the accident, you can still file a legal claim. However, any financial reward you receive will be decreased by 30 percent.
Most states observe comparative fault laws or a modified version of them. However, there are states that bar recovery for injured parties who contribute to their injuries in any way, which could be the reason why people misunderstand their legal options after a crash.
How is fault determined?
Because damages depend on the calculation of fault, it is helpful to know who is making this calculation and how.
In most cases, insurance companies of the parties involved will determine fault. However, if you file a legal claim after an accident, the decision will be made by the courts. In either case, parties will use numerous elements in their calculations.
For instance, they will typically review police reports, eyewitness testimony, your statements, accident reconstructions, traffic laws and the type of accident that occurred in order to assess what happened and who is to blame.
Proving your case and getting what you deserve
As you can see, it is critical to build a solid case if you are seeking damages after a crash. Not only do you have to establish the extent of your injuries, you must also make a case that accurately reflects your role in the crash to maximize financial awards. A personal injury attorney can help you build your case and navigate the legal system so you can focus on your recovery.