What exactly does 1% responsible mean?

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What exactly does 1% responsible mean?

I was rear-ended by a dump-truck on Monday and my neck has been bothering me since the incident. In short, I was approaching an intersection with flashing yellow lights and a car had just crossed in front of me, so I slowed to an almost complete stop. The other driver’s insurance is paying for all the damage to my car, but when I asked the insurance agent about paying for a medical check-up for my neck, he stated that the claim would become a medical claim and a full investigation would be launched. Further, according to the agent, in my state, if I am found even 1% responsible for the accident, I will receive no reimbursement. I am unfamiliar with traffic law.

Asked on April 18, 2013 under Accident Law, Virginia

Answers:

Robert Slim / Robert C. Slim - Attorney at Law

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

What you are referring to is "contributory negligence."  This legal concept states that a jury may consider another party's negligence (even the Plaintiff's negligence) when considering the cause of an accident.  If the jury finds more than one party "negligent" in causing an accident, then the jury may assign a percentage to each person based on the extent that the person's negligence contributed to the accident.  

In Texas, a Plaintiff's recovery would be reduced by the percentage of negligence attributable to the Plaintiff.  However, under Texas law, if the Plaintiff is found more than 50% negligent, then the Plaintiff recovers nothing.  I do not know what state you are in, which is why I am describing Texas law.  The law in your atate may differ.  

On another issue, please refrain from taking any legal advice from your insurance agent or adjuster.  They are trained to discourage you from making an injury claim.  And don't worry when they say that a "full investigation would be launched."  They are just trying to intimidate you.  This is because the dump truck that hit you probbly has a very high insurance policy, which they would like to protect.  

If you take anything away from my response to your question, please take this advice: CONTACT A LAWYER IMMEDIATELY and STOP TALKING TO THE INSURANCE COMPANY ABOUT YOUR INJURY CLAIM.

Good luck.


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