Upon hurting someone in an auto accident, does this mean you are automatically liable? No, there must be a level of negligence involved. Even if you struck someone with an automobile and severely injured that person, the possibility exists that you committed no negligent action. And in other situations, you may only be partially responsible for any injuries. To fully determine negligence and liability, attorneys must carefully look over the complexities of the case. Both the plaintiff and the defendant may share in the responsibility, although not to the same degree.
The Skateboard Incident
If someone darts out into the street on a skateboard, the skater takes a tremendous risk. Being hit by a car becomes a high possibility, even when the driver carefully travels down the street. For example, if the skateboarder crossed at full speed on a red light or darted out into the middle of the block, this would not be safe behavior. When the skateboarder wears earphones and is listening to music while committing bolting into, then even more negligence might fall into the skater's shoulders. Now, when the driver does something that exacerbates the situation, things may become more complex.
The Driver's Negligence
When a driver travels up the street at 15 miles above the speed limit, he/she contributes, at least partially, to any potential negligence. Odds that an improperly behaving skateboarder would have avoided injury become difficult to ascertain. No one can tell for sure if the driver could stop in time. Besides, driving above the speed limit would likely increase the severity of the injuries. Punitive damages come into play due to the driver's recklessness. And what if the driver was following all laws and safety procedures, but had a suspended license? Theoretically, that person should never be behind the wheel of the car in the first place. Could this factor in the negligence? Such a question might come up in litigation.
Damages and Circumstances
Medical bills and related care factor into civil judgments. Even when the driver is entirely at fault, what happens when a skateboarder or cyclist blatantly disregards helmet rules? If the law says, he or she must wear a helmet, wanton disregard of the law could potentially influence jury decisions.
Litigation, Settlements, and Representation
Many questions may come up in court, or they may strictly occur during settlement negotiations. Retaining a top personal injury attorney could support the ability to argue things in the plaintiff or defendant's favor. Regardless of your role in the lawsuit, hiring the right attorney becomes advisable.
For more information about how to handle your auto accident, contact a local attorney.