Auto Accidents And The Law: A Primer For Victims

Have you or a family member received injuries in a recent auto accident? If that is the case, you need to be aware of some of the important legal issues surrounding car accidents. This article examines some key legal considerations concerning car crashes that all accident victims should know.


In most states, the most crucial legal point regarding a car accident is who is responsible. If you are responsible for the accident, then you will not have a legal case and will not be able to recover damages from the other driver's insurance company. If the other driver was at fault and you are not able to come to an agreement with their insurer, then you can file a lawsuit to try and recover compensation for your medical bills, lost income and other damages. Often, it's obvious who is responsible for the crash, but other times, it's not so easy to determine.

In some instances, accidents become more complicated because both drivers have some degree of responsibility for the accident. For example, in a few states, you are not able to collect damages in a lawsuit if you bear any responsibility for the accident at all. In other states, you may be able to collect a portion of your damages depending on your degree of fault. For instance, if a court rules that you were 40 percent at fault for the accident, then you might receive 60 percent of your total financial loss from the accident. A key point to keep in mind is that some states might demand that you have less than 50 percent responsibility for what happened in order to collect any compensation through a lawsuit.

No Fault

A minority of states follow the "no fault" legal concept regarding car accidents. Under the no fault rule, you will deal primarily with your own insurer after an accident. The insurer will compensate you for your medical bills and other expenses up to a certain amount. Only when your bills exceed this limit will you then be able to take the other driver to court and try to receive full compensation for your damages.

Auto accident laws are quite complex and vary from state to state. Whether you have a strong legal case that is worth pursuing is extremely difficult for the average person to determine. You will need an experienced legal expert to help you figure this out. For more details, consult a qualified car accident attorney in your area.