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blogHit And Run Accidents And Comparative Negligence: Understanding Your Rights

April 30, 20230

The number of people involved in car and truck accidents is increasing, with thousands of people being injured or killed in road traffic accidents in the U.S. each year. In 2020 alone, over 35,766 motor vehicle accidents occurred on U.S. roads. This is a staggering figure which needs to be reduced.

While being involved in a road traffic accident is bad enough, some accidents are worse than others. When the driver at fault fails to stop at the scene, this can have an even worse impact on the injured parties. If you want to learn more about these accidents, keep reading below. We’ll not only explain what they are and what your rights are, but we’ll also explain what comparative negligence is:

What is a Hit and Run Accident?

No matter the reason for the crash, anyone involved in a road traffic accident is legally obliged to stop at the scene. They are also expected to provide injured parties’ details about themselves and their insurance.

A hit-and-run accident is a road traffic accident where the driver at fault has failed to stop at the scene. There are many reasons why drivers choose not to stop. Sometimes it’s because they know they will face criminal charges or because they don’t have insurance. However, other times, it’s because they weren’t aware that an accident had occurred.

Your Rights After a Hit-and-Run Accident

Your rights after a hit-and-run accident will depend on whether you were the driver of the vehicle who fled the scene or if you were the injured party:

  • If you were the driver in a hit-and-run accident, you must report it to the police as soon as reasonably possible and always within 24 hours. This is extremely important as not doing so could lead to a prison sentence of up to 26 weeks and penalty points on your license.
  • If you were the injured party, you have the right to seek compensation from the driver. This not only includes any damages to vehicles or other possessions but also includes compensation for medical bills and recovery. The compensation you receive will depend on how severe your injuries are, i.e., people with catastrophic injuries are likely to receive the highest possible compensation.

What is Comparative Negligence?

If you’re involved in a car accident where you stopped at a red light, and someone drove into the back of your vehicle because they didn’t see you brake, they would be entirely to blame for the accident and would have to cover any damages, including medical expenses. However, if both you and the other person were at fault, this is where the legal concept of comparative negligence comes into play.

Comparative negligence is a way for the law to recognize that very few accidents are caused by just one party. In most cases, both parties are a bit to blame. In these cases, the law decides what proportion of blame each person has. The court then doles out compensation accordingly.

When Are You Comparatively Negligent?

During a personal injury case, a jury will decide whether or not your actions caused an accident to occur. For example, if you were involved in an accident where a vehicle overtook another car on a bend, but you were going five mph over the speed limit at the time, you wouldn’t have been in the accident if you’d stuck to the speed limit. However, the other driver made a much more serious mistake. The jury would have to decide whether driving over the speed limit was something most people would do or whether you were also to blame for the accident.

Now imagine a different scenario. Imagine a driver ran a red light and crashed into you, but at the same time, you were calling a friend on your mobile phone, meaning you weren’t watching the road properly. This is a much clearer case for comparative negligence since most reasonable people don’t take their eyes off the road while driving.

What Are Your Rights in a Comparative Negligence Case?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident and decide to seek compensation through a lawsuit or insurance, there’s a good chance the other party involved will argue comparative negligence. They will argue that you were partly to blame for the accident, so they don’t have to pay as much compensation to you. However, if you believe you are not to blame for the accident, you can fight this. The best way to do this is to contact a personal injury or car accident attorney.

Over the last few years, we’ve seen a significant increase in road traffic accidents on U.S. roads. And while most people stop after causing an accident, some choose not to. This is known as a hit-and-run accident. Thankfully, most hit-and-run drivers are caught on the same day, meaning the injured parties can seek the compensation they deserve. To find out more information about hit-and-run accidents and comparative negligence, contact the lawyers at Payam Law CA:

  • Beverly Hills – 8383 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 830, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
  • Los Angeles – 212 East Pico Blvd, Suite #4, Los Angeles, CA 90015
  • Tulare – 100 E. Cross, Suite #122, Tulare, CA 93274
  • Hanford – 13400 Hanford Armona Rd, Suite #B

Call now for a free consultation on (877) 729-2652 or (323) 782-9927.


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