Cranwell & Moore P.L.C., Attorneys at Law

Measuring fault in an auto accident claim

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Auto accidents occur every day. Unfortunately, unexpected accidents can lead to serious physical, financial and even emotional strain.

Thankfully, an auto accident claim can aid parties in receiving the reparations they deserve. Determining fault in an auto accident case is critical to the claim's viability.

Asserting negligence

For an accident claim to be successful, the claimant must assert negligence on behalf of the other party. In short, negligence occurs when a person does not exercise the proper duty of care, resulting in an injury that causes damage to the injured party. In the case of an auto accident, state traffic laws determine a driver's duty of care. Therefore, if a party can show that the driver disobeyed at least one traffic law, then the claimant may be able to successfully argue negligence.

Comparative fault

Being able to establish negligence is important, and it is almost just as important for the claimant to show a lack of fault. This is due to the state's comparative fault law. Even in the case of serious injury, if the court decides that the claimant contributed to the accident, the claimant may not receive the full award amount. Therefore, it is critical that parties not only build a strong case against the defendant, but also prepare to counter any claims the defendant may pose.


In certain cases, there may be claims restrictions. One of the main restrictions that claimants may face is the statute of limitations, which states that a party must bring a claim within two years of the incident for the claim to be valid. If a party waits until after the allotted time to file, the court may not even try the case. However, it is important to note that there are certain exceptions to this law, such as a parent filing for a child or if the injury does not manifest until after the statute passes.

Properly measuring fault in an auto accident can aid parties in determining their best course of action. It may also be beneficial to become familiar with state personal injury laws.

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