Negligence Issues In Truck Accidents: Key Considerations
If you have been in an accident involving a truck and seek compensation for your damages, it's crucial to understand the legal concept of negligence. Whether or not a party was negligent typically plays an important role in truck accident cases. Here is a closer look at some of the key considerations surrounding this aspect of personal injury law.
One important legal doctrine regarding this area of the law is called contributory negligence. This means that if you contributed to the accident in any way, the defendant can use this fact to have the case dismissed. For instance, if you are found to have bear 10 percent of the responsibility for the accident, while the truck driver bears 90 percent of the blame, the judge can still dismiss your case. Fortunately for truck accident victims, only a few states follow this particular doctrine.
Most states follow a principle known as comparative negligence. This standard allows a plaintiff to sue for damages in an accident even if they are partially responsible for the crash. There are two types of comparative negligence.
- Pure — This is the less common type. Pure comparative negligence allows a plaintiff to receive compensation even if he is mostly at fault for an accident. For example, under this standard, you could still receive some damages if you bear 90 percent of blame for a crash and the truck drive only bears 10 percent.
- Partial or Modified — This negligence standard is practiced by most jurisdictions in the country. Under this rule, you can collect damages from a defendant as long as you do not bear the larger part of the blame for the accident. Some jurisdictions that follow partial comparative negligence allow plaintiffs who bear an equal share of the blame to collect damages, while others demand that the plaintiff's share of the blame must be under 50 percent.
The amount of compensation you can receive under the comparative negligence standard typically depends on your share of the responsibility for the crash. So if you have $100,000 in medical bills and a judge finds that you are 25 percent responsible for the accident, your award will be reduced by 25 percent, giving you $75,000.
Determining negligence in an accident is often complicated and requires the knowledge and experience of a professional. To learn more about this complex area of accident law, contact an attorney who specializes in these types of cases.
For more information, contact Arrington Schelin & Munsey PC or a similar firm.