Frequently Asked Questions about Auto Accidents
Have you or someone you know been involved in an auto accident? If so, you may have some questions about what to expect if you begin a claim and other factors involved in your accident. Consider some of these frequently asked questions about auto accidents and their answers.
Who Decides Who Was at Fault?
Figuring out who was at fault is a matter of determining who broke the rules of the road. Sometimes the answer to this is obvious, such as when a driver runs a red light and causes an accident. In other situations, whether or not there was a violation will be less obvious, such as when both drivers merge into a single lane of traffic and collide. In cases like these, instead of focusing on the rules of the road, the determination will be governed by the principles of negligence.
How Is Negligence Shown?
To prove negligence, three elements must be met: (1) the driver is legally required to be reasonably careful in the particular situation (this one is a given since drivers must use caution at all times); (2) the driver (or pedestrian or cyclist) was not reasonably careful; and (3) the driver’s conduct caused actual injury or damage to someone.
Is a Driver Who Hits Me from Behind Always at Fault? How about a Driver Making a Left Turn?
In these situations, the driver who hits another car from behind is almost always at fault, because a basic rule of the road requires that a driver be able to stop safely if a vehicle stops ahead of the driver. Further, a car making a left turn is almost always liable to a car coming straight in the other direction. As may or may not be obvious, there are exceptions to these rules and every accident is different. You are best off contacting an experienced auto accident attorney who can assist you in filing a claim or lawsuit and in determining who or what may be to blame for the accident.
What if One of the Accident Victims Is also at Fault?
South Carolina has a provision called modified contributory negligence. In other words, not being at fault isn’t the end of the inquiry. South Carolina uses a system called modified comparative negligence to reduce the amount of an award in accordance with whether the individual is partially at fault. To imagine this principle, consider being awarded $100,000. If a judge or jury also finds that you are 10% at fault, your award will be reduced by 10%. If you are more than 50% at fault, you will not be entitled to a payout.
You Need a Good Attorney
There are many attorneys who will claim to be able to take a car accident case. But you will want someone with experience handling these types of cases at your side to protect your rights and interests. Don’t hesitate to contact a skilled Columbia car accident lawyer at The Stanley Law Group. Call 803-799-4700 and set up a consultation today.