You can use all the skill, care and common sense you possess to drive safely, but you can't control the behavior of drivers around you. If a wreck happens, basic knowledge might help you avoid unnecessary hassles. If you're a person who would rather drive to Oregon nonstop than to read your insurance policy or traffic laws, it's time to read this brief tip.
Although the criminal laws could apply if, for example, a drunk driver hit you, most often you're going to have a civil claim either settled or taken to circuit court under civil law. Almost always, the other driver's bodily injury liability coverage under his automobile insurance policy will be responsible for paying for your damages. The law doesn't require the other driver to drive perfectly, only reasonably, to avoid a wreck with you. Here's an example.
Let's say you're driving along on Back Beach Road, and you decide to suddenly hit your brakes and dive into the median to go back for something you forgot. The other driver doesn't have to be a mind reader. The law could excuse him for rear ending you after the sudden, unexpected action you took. On the other hand, if he wasn't watching your normal deceleration and rear ends you, he's in trouble.
Sometimes I see people hire the family lawyer who does their wills, real estate matters, and basic contracts to try to handle their automobile accident case. That can be alright if the lawyer is well versed in accident law and insurance matters. But, this type law changes like the shifting sands and has many nuances that the uninitiated may be dangerously unfamiliar with. Therefore, be aware of some principles of law that can be important. One is that the other driver may not be the only responsible party. This is true if someone else owns the car he was carelessly driving. The point is that your lawyer must know where to look for more than one policy that could pay benefits to you.
Another is that the fault situation doesn't have to be picture perfect for you to be substantially successful. It's not unusual for one driver to be much greater at fault than the other but for the other to also have some fault in causing the wreck. I'll give you an example. Let's say a driver pulled out immediately in front of you, but you were going a little over the speed limit.
You couldn't have avoided the collision caused by his negligent driving even if you'd been driving within the posted speed limit, but your injuries wouldn't have been quite as bad. Let's also say the other driver was 90% at fault compared to your 10%. Many people would think they couldn't be successful in a case to get monetary compensation for their injuries, but the law says you are entitled to 90% of the value of your injuries, exactly the percentage of the other party's fault. If the stakes are high, get representation for whatever type legal case you have. You deserve it for your future.
If you have been involved in an accident and sustained a serious injury as a result of someone else's negligence, take a moment to email me or call my office. I am available 24/7 to discuss your new car accident case.