In at-fault insurance, the negligent or at-fault drivers insurance will be responsible to compensate the damages or losses of the innocent driver. The fault is a type of liability that needs to be established before compensation for damages ensues. If your driving is the cause of the accident, then you should still pay for compensation to the amount of your fault even if the other driver has a percentage of fault in the accident in pure at-fault states.
Many states operate under comparative or modified at-fault systems which can be as prevent a driver from recovering if they are 50% or in some states less than 50% at-fault.
At-fault Insurance examples
Rear-ending another vehicle – you might be driving distracted and hit the rear end of another car. Insurance companies will always assume that you are at fault in an accident.
Driving under the influence – driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal. This practice is risky, so there is always an assumption that you were at fault in an accident.
Disobeying traffic signals – the most common example is running a red light. Accidents can also happen when you fail to yield or pass a car in a no-passing zone. Disobeying traffic rules creates the assumption that you are the cause of the accident.
Distracted driving – texting or using your phone while driving can also cause a car accident.
While 11 states follow the no-fault insurance system, the rest of the states in America follow the at-fault system. At-fault Insurance states follow the tort system, where the negligent driver has to pay using his insurance. Damages may include medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, property damage, and pain and suffering claims.
Elements to Establish Negligence
Negligence is the failure to take reasonable care in a certain situation, such as driving. Drivers are expected to drive carefully. As such, negligence is a legal standard of not being careful. The elements to establish negligence are the following:
Duty – everyone owes a duty of care to other people in different settings. For example, a driver owes the duty to drive carefully, to avoid any collision on the road.
Breach – there is a breach when the defendant failed to exercise his duty of care while driving. A breach is acting in a manner that can violate the rights of others or failing to act in a manner required that resulted in a breach of other people's rights.
Cause – people breach laws and rules all the time. However, not all breaches result in injuries or damages. The breach must be the proximate cause of the injuries and damages sustained by the plaintiff to establish negligence.
Harm- there must be Damages associated as well.
For example, driving under the influence must be the proximate cause of the accident.
Driving under the Influence while against the law is not considered to be negligent if the drunk driver gets rear-ended. In fact, the drunk or impaired driver might have a cause of action against the negligent driver who rear-ended him.
Harm – finally, there must be showing that the plaintiff sustained damages or injuries due to the accident. If the plaintiff did not sustain any damage or injury, they could not claim compensation.
Some states, however, have varying rules regarding contributory or comparative negligence. In contributory negligence, the plaintiff's claim may be reduced if there is clear evidence that there is also negligence on their part.
For example, if the plaintiff has a 40% fault in the accident, they can only claim 60% of the compensation.
Although accidents can be prevented, accidents do and will happen without any warning. Thus, insurance policies are required by law in many states to protect you in case of accidents. It is essential to know about the insurance policies available in different states in case you get involved in car accidents. If you are involved in an accident, call Betz and Baril, this a responsible way to ensure your rights are protected.
What do I do if I suddenly stop receiving car accident benefits?
If your insurer fails to pay your car accident benefits as laid out in your policy, you should ring them and ask why. They should provide you with a full explanation and do so almost immediately. If this does not happen or you are unhappy with their answer, consult a lawyer.
What do I do if the driver that hit me fled the scene?
If the driver who hit you fled the scene, call the police immediately. While you are waiting for them to arrive, try to get the contact details of anyone who may have witnessed the accident. If they took photos or videos, politely ask them to send them to you. As soon as you can, write down everything you remember about the driver who hit you and the vehicle they were driving or riding. This kind of information will help the police to track that person down.
If you need legal help call Betz and Baril at 865-888-8888 and get the benefits you deserve!