An auto accident attorney is effortless to look for with just a click of a mouse. Yet finding a superior one might be challenging. For anyone who is an unlucky sufferer of an auto accident and you are enduring spinal cord injuries, you should opt to employ the services of a car accident attorney to alleviate yourself from the emotional stress and hassle of filing for the claim. Auto accident attorneys carry knowledge and experience essential to seek compensation an accident victim is qualified for. Even in the case that you think you are partially or absolutely accountable for the accident, it is still advised to call your auto accident attorney or lawyer.
Car accidents are a prominent cause of death among Americans below 34 years of age. Year after year, there are about forty thousand fatalities which are a result of these car accidents. An unfortunate note is that most people these days do not have satisfactory health, auto and disability insurance to fund for them should they get themselves injured. They don’t even have insurance plans which will shoulder the costs should they meet untimely demise as a result of automobile accidents. With this truth in mind, motorists need to arm themselves with all the correct information for them to know how to proceed if an accident should occur.
A crucial thing to not forget in car accidents is to not ever drive away from the scene of the crash. If you do this, it may possibly get you in legal difficulty as this is a violation of the law. Phone the authorities in order to report the collision instead and seek the advice of an auto accident attorney. This will help safeguard your legal rights later on as well as protect you from being wrongly held liable for the incident.
Don’t go anywhere. Stay where you are. Send a witness or bystander to phone the police. Do not tackle it yourselves. Give first aid to other victims in case you are competent to do so. Do not move any person except if not doing it directly endangers their life. Do not move vehicles unless of course they are hindering further traffic. In the event that you need to move them, move them as little as possible. Alert approaching drivers. Should you be hurt, stay in your car or truck. Get medical treatment at the scene in case you are injured in any way even if it appears insignificant. Collect and exchange details. Get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all travelers, eye witnesses, and the motorist. Get the license number and insurance carrier name and policy number from the driver and owner.
Generally there are legal challenges and time constraints which only an auto accident attorney will help work out in your case. You undoubtedly need an auto accident lawyer or attorney if you are now going through injuries in your body. There’s a chance you’re cautious to employ an experienced auto accident lawyer because it might be too expensive. You have nothing to lose by planning a consultation with an auto accident lawyer or attorney who will not charge for a first consultation. By meeting up with various lawyers, you can screen and hire the best one for your case.
You might want to read more about ways an auto accident attorneys in Los Angeles can assist you. There are many online websites that include info on services of an auto accident attorney accessible to you on the internet.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Henry_Do/1071326
Car Accident Lawyer – Comparative Fault
Car accident claims can be very difficult and confusing for the everyday driver, and the fact that laws change between states doesn’t help. These differences can have a drastic effect on your accident claim, and the compensation you can receive for your injuries. Fault is almost always a highly contested aspect of any auto accident case, as are the injuries that result. The injuries sustained by the victim of the accident can be both caused by the at-fault driver and the victim as well. Something as simple as not wearing a seatbelt can virtually ruin a car accident claim in some states, and lower the final settlement in others.
When the injury is found to have been caused in part by the victim, it can become a case of comparative negligence.
What is Comparative Negligence?
A rule of law that breaks up damages from an auto accident claim based on whether or not the victim had a role in causing some of their injuries. One of the more common reasons comparative negligence can come into play is when the victim is not wearing a seatbelt. In a case like this, even if the at-fault driver ran a red light and collided with the victim in the intersection, some of the injury may have been avoided if the victim was wearing a seat belt. In a case like this, the insurance company will stress that some of the injuries could have been avoided had the victim not been negligent, so they will argue for comparative negligence.
In the United States, there are four different systems of comparative negligence law, and they change from state to state. The different systems are: pure comparative negligence, pure modified comparative negligence, modified comparative negligence with a 50% bar rule, and modified comparative negligence with a 51% bar rule.
Pure Contributory Negligence Negligence:
Law of: Virginia, Alabama, District of Columbia, North Carolina, Maryland.
The at-fault party will not be held responsible for paying any damages if the victim is found to have any degree of responsibility in the accident. For example, if Joe hits Scott’s car and Scott is injured as a result, but the jury finds him responsible for 10% of the injury, then he will not receive any compensation. Under this set of laws, the at-fault driver must be 100% responsible for the victim’s injuries, or else they do not have to pay any damages. In this system, even a minor role in the damages can ruin an auto accident claim. This system has roots from British law, but is only used in 4 states, and Washington D.C. The other 45 states have laws that offer more protection to auto accident victims with the help of auto accident attorneys.
Comparative negligence differs greatly from contributory negligence in that it offers some compensation for a victim even if they are partially responsible for their injuries. There rules regulating this division of an injury settlement differ, however, from state to state. The systems of comparative negligence are known as: pure comparative negligence and modified comparative negligence.
Pure Comparative Negligence:
Law of Washington State, Alaska, California, Arizona, Kentucky, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, New Mexico, Rhode Island, South Dakota
Fault for the injury is broken into an exact percentage, and the victim is paid out for the damages that were caused by the person deemed at-fault for the accident. If the victim played a role in their own injuries, the judge or jury deciding the trial will determine how much.
Example: Joe and Scott get into an accident. The jury decides that Joe, the at-fault driver is responsible for 90% of the damages, while Scott did not wear a seatbelt, and is responsible for 10%. Let’s say that the final total for damages is $100,000. In a comparative negligence system, Joe would pay $90,000 and Scott would be responsible for the other $10,000.
Modified Comparative Negligence-50% bar rule
Law of: Colorado, Arkansas, Kansas, Georgia, Idaho, Maine, West Virginia, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah.
This system is similar to the one above, however the victim must be responsible for less than 50% of their injuries. If it is found that they are responsible for more, they will not receive any compensation.
Modified Comparative Negligence- 51% bar rule
Law of: Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
This is just like the system above, only with a small tweak that actually makes a big difference. Under this law, the victim has to be responsible for less than 51% of their damages to get compensated accordingly. This is very important, because it is not uncommon for a judge or jury to split the responsibility of an accident as 50/50. If that were the case in a state with this law, the victim would receive some damages for their injury. If the victim is thought to be responsible for 51% of the damages or more he is awarded nothing.
Understanding auto accident laws can be challenging. If you have been injured in a car accident, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately to get advice on your case.
Man Sentenced in El Monte, California Street Racing Car Accident
An El Monte man has been sentenced to one year in county jail and five years on probation for his role in a street racing related car accident last year in which his friend was killed and the passenger in the other car seriously injured.
In October 2007, 19-year-old Fitzgerald Paragas had been racing with his friend 18-year-old Brian Ramirez. Just prior to that, they had been watching the street racing movie “The Fast and the Furious” and decided to have a race of their own. As the two continued to race on the streets, Brian lost control of his car. His Mitsubishi careened across the median and into incoming traffic. A Volkswagen Jetta carrying the Saavedra family was coming in the opposite direction, and the Mitsubishi crashed into it. Ramirez was killed instantly, while the Saavedra family suffered serious injuries. At the time of the crash, Ramirez’s vehicle was apparently going at 90 mph.
After the crash, Paragas tried to mislead police into believing that he had not been part of the car accident at all. His initial claim was that he was at home at the time of the car crash, and had received a call from Ramirez who said he would be coming over. After waiting for an hour, when there was still no sign of his friend, Paragas told police he had driven off to take a look. It was then that he came upon the car crash site where his friend was killed. Later however, Paragas broke down, and admitted that he had been racing too.
He was charged with one felony count of murder with the special allegation of causing great bodily injury, one felony count of vehicular manslaughter and four counts of felony reckless driving causing injury, as well as misdemeanor street racing. A judge has now sentenced him to one year in county jail. He will also be required to pay restitution to the Saavedra family, a $100 court security fee and a $20 restitution fee. He is also prohibited from driving while under probation, and will have to participate in a safe driving program. He will also be required to educate high school students on safe driving as part of his sentence. The judge admitted that Paragas’ lack of a prior criminal record and letters written to the judge by the young man’s school teachers had led to what can only be called a light sentence.
The district attorney asked the judge to impose a four-year prison sentence to be suspended. If Paragas violates the terms of his probation, he would have to serve time in jail. Paragas was facing a maximum of eight years and eight months, and the prosecution had asked for a sentence of four years to six years.
Street racing can be either spontaneous races, like the one that seems to have taken place here, or coordinated races that are planned ahead of time. In either case, they can cause serious injuries and fatalities. With the high speeds that are the norm during such races, many motorists’ lives are endangered simply because they were unlucky enough to be around the scene when a race was on. Considering the gravity of Paragas’ action and the death that it resulted in, a stiffer sentence would have given out a stronger message to would-be street racers.
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