What happens if both parties are at fault in an auto accident?
Way back in 2010, a crash involving a 22-year-old woman and according to the police, Sarah Bearden turned left from Hurstbourne Parkway onto Headley Hill Road when Detective James Adams slammed into her car. Bearden died due to the injuries she has suffered.
In its report, police stated that Adams was driving more than 80 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone, while Bearden’s alcohol level during the accident was nearly twice the legal limit at .131 and she has failed to yield the right-of-way.
This case was recently settled when the Louisville Metro Police Department has agreed to pay $700,000 to the Beaden family. But the question remains, who was at fault?
Both parties are at fault
In the present case, both parties are responsible for causing the accident. Adams was speeding while Bearden was driving under the influence of alcohol. Both have violated traffic laws.
Speeding has been always a safety problem as it triples the odds of being involved in a collision. It is defined as the act of exceeding the speed limit and driving too fast for conditions or racing. In 2011, there was a total of 9,944 deaths, or about a third of all motor vehicle fatalities in speed-related crashes.
In the mid-1970s, Congress has established a national maximum speed limit. At present, 36 states have speed limits of 70 mph or higher on some portion of their roadway systems. In Kentucky, the speed limit is 65 miles per hour on rural sections of its interstates and on most parkways. Other roads are as posted. Various speed enforcement campaigns have been employed in Kentucky especially during the summer months such as “100 Days of Summer Heat”, “Blue Lights Across the Bluegrass”, and “Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine”.
Another road safety problem is driving under the influence of alcohol. If you get convicted of DUI in Kentucky and you are a first-time offender, expect a 90-day license suspension, fines of $200-$500, and jail time up to 30 days. Penalties become more severe for second and subsequent convictions especially if there are aggravating circumstances.
Effect of Each Party’s Fault
It is clear that Bearden and Adams are both responsible for causing the accident. But this does not mean that Bearden’s negligence or fault does not neglect recovery of damages for the wrongful death.
Kentucky is considered as a “comparative fault state”. This simply means that there can be fault on the part of the deceased; still, his or her estate would still be able to pursue a wrongful death claim. However, the deceased’s percentage of fault will reduce damages.
Personal injury and wrongful death claims involve a lot of issues and legal matters. It is best to speak with a Kentucky Accident Attorney who understands comparative fault in the state and all applicable laws.
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Mike Schafer's nearly two decades of representing auto accident victims in Kentucky has given him the hands-on experience that is priceless, along with a winning track record. Mike fights hard for his clients and his opponents know it. With Mike as your lawyer, you’ll know you’re in good hands, and you’ll know that your chances at recovering compensation are as good as they can possibly be.
Mike Schafer's nearly two decades of representing truck and tractor trailer accident victims in Kentucky has given him the hands-on experience that is priceless, along with a winning track record. Mike fights hard for his clients and his opponents know it. With Mike as your lawyer, you’ll know you’re in good hands, and you’ll know that your chances at recovering compensation are as good as they can possibly be.
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