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Injured in a car accident? Your negligence may lower your payout

Injuries sustained in a car accident may prove lift-altering. You may be unable to work and incapable of providing for your family—all due to the inattention of another driver.

But what if you also failed to make a complete stop at the stop sign, ignored the red light or chose not to follow speed regulations? In Pennsylvania, a court may cite your own negligence in a personal injury case. It proves essential to consistently pay attention while driving to receive full compensation in a devastating accident.

Negligence and drivers

United States law defines negligence as the failure to exhibit proper care in doing something which results in damage or injury to another. Negligence may constitute acts both accidental and intentional. Various negligent acts occurring in vehicles include:

  • Failing to obey traffic laws. Speeding, passing in a no-passing zone and failing to move when an emergency vehicle approaches all negligently ignore traffic laws.
  • Not paying attention. Drivers should drive and only drive. Not looking for hazards like quickly-merging vehicles, illuminated brake lights or even driving slow in the left lane all show a disengaged, negligent driver.
  • Inaccurately using a vehicle’s equipment. Not utilizing lights, blinkers or windshield wipers may cause serious accidents and demonstrate your negligence while driving.

In personal injury cases in which fault must be determined, a court will decide whether your actions demonstrated negligence, even if another driver’s actions caused the most harm.

Pennsylvania comparative negligence

To determine fault and compensation for injury, the court uses the law of comparative negligence. In comparative negligence personal injury cases, Pennsylvania court determines a percentage of fault assigned to each party. Claims adjusters determine whether your actions caused or contributed to the accident.

  • If you prove to be 50 percent or less at fault for your vehicle crash, you may sue for damages and receive compensation. A court may still calculate your negligence, however, because the amount your awarded lessens depending on your percentage of negligence.
  • If a court decides you demonstrated 51 percent or more of casual negligence, you cannot sue for damages in your case, no matter the significance of your injury.

In any situation, it proves clear that in the event of an accident, you must show all signs of vigilance while you drive. Focusing on recuperating from your injuries after a car accident should be your initial goal. Being worried about your own negligence causing your accident should not consume your road to recovery.

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Davis & Davis Attorneys at Law

Davis & Davis Attorneys At Law