Understanding State Car Accident Laws

Driver suffering from whiplash after car accidentCar accidents and their repercussions vary from state to state. This is why understanding the legalities and gaining information allows you to prepare for such cases — you know what to plea and you can defend yourself when a case goes to court. When consulting with a defense lawyer in Kent, you can better understand the nuances of your violation, claims, and other legalities involved in the process.

Comparative Negligence

Many states follow the comparative negligence approach when it comes to dealing with contributory negligence in car accidents. This weighs the negligence of both parties for injuries incurred in an accident and then uses this information to determine the damages.

The two approaches to comparative language include:

  • Modified Comparative Negligence – This is the definition that many follow. However, a plaintiff will not be able to recover damages if they’re responsible or more responsible for the injuries incurred. Under this definition, a plaintiff must not be over 50% at fault for the injuries caused by the accident.
  • Pure Comparative Negligence – Under this definition, the court totals the damages and reduces it to reflect the plaintiff’s contribution. This is whether if they were at fault by 50% or any other percentage of the injuries incurred.

Statute Limitations

Each state has its own statute of limitations, which is a set timeframe wherein you can approach a court to seek legal relief and/or claim damages from an accident. The time limit varies, depending on the case you file.

The state of Washington, for instance, grants three years to file a lawsuit to people who suffered an injury or damage to property as a result of a car accident. This starts at the date of the occurrence of the crash, and the limit only applies to the time wherein a complainant can file a lawsuit and not the length of time needed to resolve the case.

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Understanding the statutes of limitation and the degree of negligence of a car accident allows you to determine the next legal course of action. Be informed and get the right help.