Two cars hit him; comparative negligence; percentage of negligence

Question: I was in an auto accident where two cars hit me. The insurance company will not pay me because they say I was partially at fault. What are my rights?

Answer:

Your question is not simple because we do not know the specific facts and how much you were at fault versus the percentage of fault of the other two drivers.

Generally, we look at comparative negligence. We must determine who caused your injuries and assign a percentage of liability to each party’s responsibility. Our first question would be whether or not the other drives were negligent and, if so, whether their negligence directly and proximately caused any of your injuries. The second question is whether or not you were negligent and, if so, whether your negligence directly and proximately caused your own injury. Your question implies that the answer to these questions would be yes, both you and the other drivers were negligent and contributed to your injuries.

The next task is to assign a percentage of negligence to each party. What percentage of negligence is attributable to each of the other drivers and what percentage of negligence is attributable to you? The total percentages must equal 100%. We must then determine the total value of your injuries without regard to the percentages of negligence. If you were more than 50% negligent, you will not recover from the other drivers. If your negligence was 50% or less, then each of the other drivers would pay you their percentage of your total damages.

It is always best to discuss your concerns with an attorney. Contact our office for further information, a free consultation, or representation, and we will be glad to give you our personal attention, or your may visit our website atsternbergandzeid.com or e-mail us at sternbergzeid@ameritech.net .

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