My Legal Aspirations

For as long as I can remember, the legal field has always fascinated me. While my friends watched sitcoms and cartoons, I chose to watch courtroom dramas and real life trials unfold. There was never really any question as to what I wanted to be when I got older. The only profession for me was that of a trial lawyer. Unfortunately, a serious car accident several years ago changed all that. Now, my injuries prevent me from leaving my home most days. However, my love for the law has never went away. While I may not be able to realize my dreams of becoming a trail lawyer, I still wish to help people with their legal problems. That is why I decided to start this blog. It is my hope that the information contained in these pages will help other accident victims like me when filing their personal injury claims.

3 Things That Can Impact Your Ability To Collect Compensation In A Personal Injury Case


Getting into a car accident can be traumatic. The experience can be made even worse if someone else caused the accident and they refuse to pay up. If that happens to you, it may be necessary to file a personal injury claim in court. Here are three things that can impact your ability to collect compensation in a personal injury case.

1. You let the statute of limitations expire.

When it comes to most legal issues, there is a time limit on your ability to sue the other party. The same is true for personal injury cases. However, the amount of time you have to file a claim in court varies by state - and sometimes by the type of personal injury case you have. Depending on the state you live in, you could have anywhere from a year to 10 years to file a personal injury claim.

An important thing to note about the statute of limitations is the clock starts ticking from the moment the accident occurs. So, it is vital that you understand how long you have to file a claim after an accident. If you file your claim after the statute of limitations has run out, you will not be able to collect any compensation from the responsible party.

2. Your state requires no fault car insurance for all drivers.

Another thing that can impact your ability to collect compensation from the driver responsible for the accident is being required to carry no fault car insurance. Not all states have this requirement, but if yours does, all drivers in an accident will be required to collect compensation from their own car insurance company.

The only way you can file a personal injury claim against the driver responsible for the accident in a no fault car insurance state is if your medical bills reach a certain amount or you sustain a specific type of injury. These are standards that the state chooses, so they will vary.

3. You are found to share fault for the accident.

In many personal injury cases, the plaintiff is found to share fault for the accident in question. While this may not necessarily prevent you from collecting compensation from the other driver, it will reduce the amount you can win.

There are two different legal theories used when there is shared fault for a personal injury case: comparative negligence and contributory negligence. If your state uses comparative negligence, the amount of damages you can collect will be reduced by your degree of fault. For example, if you are responsible for 25% of the accident, the amount of damages you are entitled to will be reduced by 25%. 

Some states follow a modified version of comparative negligence. One modified version states that the plaintiff must have a degree of fault less than 50% to collect. The other modified version states that their degree of fault can't be more than 50% in order to collect compensation.

In states that follow contributory negligence, the plaintiff will be barred from winning compensation if they are found responsible for any part of the accident. It doesn't matter how little their degree of fault is - even being 1% responsible is enough to lose their personal injury case in those states. Contact a local attorney, like Tiefenthaler Law Office, if you have further questions.


7 October 2015