How to Determine Who Is Responsible for a Car Accident?

An injured victim that has filed a personal injury claim does not have to present a perfect argument. He or she only has to put together a reasonable argument, one that should be included in a demand letter.

Factors that could aid the composition of such a letter

A claimant’s familiarity with driving rules should make it easier to prepare that written demand. If the defendant has broken any of those rules, then he or she is at least partly responsible for the accident.

If a driver were to disobey any rule-of-the-road, then that could be pointed to as evidence of the same driver’s negligence. No claimant could win a personal injury claim without producing proof of the defendant’s negligence. Yet no court would label a defendant as negligent in the absence of all the required elements.

What are the elements of negligence?

  • Evidence that the defendant had a duty of care towards the plaintiff
  • Proof that the defendant had breached that duty of care
  • Proof that the defendant’s breach had caused the event that resulted in physical harm to the plaintiff
  • Evidence to support the claim that the plaintiff had suffered measurable losses, as a result of the accident.

What would happen if the victim were found partly to blame for the accident?

The way that such a decision would affect the size of the victim’s compensation would depend on the accident’s location. Most states adhere to the principle of comparative negligence. Some use the traditional principle, while others have chosen to adopt the modified principle.

According to the traditional principle, the amount of the victim’s compensation should correspond inversely to the percent of the same victim’s contribution to the accident. In the modified version, no victim can be compensated, if he or she has contributed to more than 51% of the factors that caused the accident.

What is the rule in a system that follows the principle of contributory negligence? In that system, a victim has no right to seek compensation for accident-related injuries, if he or she made even the smallest contribution to the factors that triggered the accident’s occurrence.

That seems like a rather harsh system? Yes, it is. That is why only a few states have chosen to adhere to the principle of contributory negligence. As a rule, the legal system always strives to be fair to both sides, during any effort to resolve a legal dispute.

Lawyers recognize that fact and try to use it when advocating for a specific client. Judges, too, try to be fair, when asked to issue a decision. Still, every judge must follow any of the relevant rules in a given state’s legal code.

At Graves Thomas Rotunda Injury Law Group, we understand that you are frustrated with your injuries and looking to settle quickly. Call 772.247.5306 today and let us help you.