Have you suffered an injury in a car accident in which the other driver committed a traffic violation? If so, it's paramount to understand the factors that may influence the compensation process. In a case where the at-fault driver violated the state's traffic rules, you need to know how this can impact your claim. Below are some factors to consider when filing a compensation claim after the incident.
At-Fault vs. No-Fault State
What are the compensation laws in your state? Is your state a no-fault or at-fault state? In at-fault states, the driver liable for the accident should compensate the injured party for all damages resulting from the crash. Here, all you need to establish is the driver's negligence and liability. However, if you live in a no-fault state, you have to approach the matter differently.
In no-fault states, each driver receives compensation from their insurer, regardless of who was responsible for the accident. Thus, whether the other driver committed a traffic violation won't matter. However, some no-fault states allow injured parties to sue when the damages are significantly substantial. In this case, you can use the traffic violation to prove negligence and pin liability on the other party.
Relationship Between Violation and Accident
Is the traffic violation in question related to the car accident? Just because someone committed a violation doesn't mean it was connected to the accident. For example, if the other driver performed an illegal lane change and hit your vehicle, they will be held liable for the accident.
However, if the driver committed a violation long before causing the accident, you cannot connect the two incidences. The ability to associate a traffic violation to the accident can be helpful to your case. It shows negligence, which proves the other driver's liability for the accident.
Percentage of Fault
In some at-fault states, you receive compensation based on the percentage of fault. Sometimes, both parties are liable for a crash, but one party is more at fault than the other. For example, an over-speeding driver rear-ends you while you were illegally switching lanes. In this case, both of you are liable for the crash. The other driver may be 70% negligent, and you may be 30% negligent.
Here, if the damages sum up to $10,000, you will only recover $7,000. However, some states employ contributory negligence when determining damages. For you to be compensated, the other party has to be 100% liable for the accident. If you are partially responsible, you won't get any compensation, regardless of whether the other party committed any traffic violations.
The existence of a traffic violation in a car accident claim doesn't simplify the claims process. The above factors can impact the outcome of the case. Consult a local car accident attorney for professional help.