Being involved in a motor accident can be a frightening experience.
Sometimes fault clearly lies with one party. Other times however determining fault can be a complex process.
Normally it is only possible to claim benefits if another driver is at fault.
However in certain circumstances, for example those involving children under 16 years of age, it is possible to obtain certain benefits even where there is no fault on another driver.
It is recommended that you seek professional legal advice if you were involved in a motor vehicle accident.
Determining fault (or liability) for an accident can be a complex issue because of many variables including different interpretations of an event by witnesses, and people’s inherent difficulty in accepting blame when someone is injured.
On most occasions, one party will be found to be wholly at fault. In other cases liability may be shared between a driver and the injured person. If a claimant is injured in circumstances where he or she was partly at fault, this is referred to as contributory negligence.
Examples of contributory negligence arise when a person is struck by another vehicles and is thrown into the windscreen because a seatbelt was not worn. In this situation the claimant’s injuries were made worse because of the failure to wear a seatbelt. This claimant’s damages will be reduced by whatever percentage a Court believes in fair in the circumstances.
Another example of contributory negligence might be walking across a road at night time wearing dark clothing. A pedestrian struck in such circumstances may well prove that the driver was negligent for driving too fast, but damages may be reduced because of the pedestrian who placed him or herself in a position of danger.
When Fault Is Shared Between Drivers
It is not unusual for the drivers of more than one vehicle involved in an accident to be held jointly responsible. Both drivers may have been speeding or failing to keep to the left side of a narrow country road. Blame may be apportioned equally or by whatever percentage is appropriate in the circumstances. It may be that both drivers are injured and claim against the other driver. In such circumstances, the injured driver’s entitlements will be reduced by whatever percentage is considered to reflect their own responsibility for the accident. Both drivers could still recover reduced damages.
John McGuire & Associates Can Help
If you have been involved in a motor accident, you could seek professional advice from an experienced specialist.
To explore your potential rights following an accident, contact our team today.