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Determining fault after a car accident

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2019 | Firm News |

In a car accident, the responsibility for any damages that occur depends on where the accident occurred. You may understand that Louisiana is an “at-fault” state when it comes to car accidents. This means that each driver in the accident receives a certain percentage of the “fault” or responsibility for the accident. 

The fault system significantly affects personal injury claims and lawsuits in Louisiana. If you received injuries in an accident, your compensation will decrease by the percentage that you were at fault. For example, if your personal injury suit results in an award of $10,000 but you were 20% at fault for the accident, you will receive $8,000. 

But saying that Louisiana is an “at fault” state does not explain how to determine fault after an accident. Do you know how to determine fault for an accident? 

The pure comparative fault system 

Louisiana follows the pure comparative fault system. All drivers involved in the accident can carry a percentage of the fault based on whether that driver contributed to the accident. Additionally, police and investigators consider whether you or another driver could have done something to prevent the accident. 

The overall fault for the accident will add up to 100%, as accident investigators assign each driver a different share of the fault. 

Factors in fault 

Police and accident investigators consider multiple aspects of the accident when determining fault. Insurance claim adjusters can also get involved. Common indicators include: 

  • If a driver was obeying the posted speed limit at the time of the accident 
  • If a driver followed appropriate traffic signals 
  • If a driver drove impaired or distracted at the time of the accident  

Most advice recommends that you file a police report either at the scene of the accident or as quickly as possible after receiving medical attention. You want to ensure that evidence is available to the authorities who must determine fault. The police or other investigators may consider photographs from the accident scene, photographs of the damage caused and eyewitness accounts in determining fault. 

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