Four Things That May Reduce Your Car Accident Award

4 June 2018
 Categories: , Blog


If you are pursuing a car accident case, you need to be aware of all the possible issues that may affect your damages. For example, you should know that your damages may be reduced if:

You Failed to Mitigate the Damages

As an accident victim, you are only entitled to compensation for damages that stem from the defendant's actions, but not your actions. In fact, you are required to take the necessary measures to prevent further damages after you have been involved in an accident. Such measures may include things such as seeking proper medical attention and following your doctor's advice. Your damages may be reduced if, for example, it is proven that you would have healed faster than you did if you had not ignored your doctor's advice.

The Accident Was Caused By an Emergency Situation

In some cases, your damages may be curtailed not because of your actions, but because the defendant was in an emergency situation when they caused the accident. For example, a driver who causes an accident while rushing a sick person to the emergency room may receive some leniency if they can prove that the normal emergency services could not have saved the patient in time. The leniency may reduce their liability to the accident, which may reduce your damages.

The Driver Was Involuntarily Intoxicated

Involuntary intoxication may only be used as a partial defense of crime. Therefore, if the defendant can prove that they were intoxicated without knowing and without their involvement, they may not be as liable for the crash as they would have been if they had been voluntarily intoxicated. For example, your damages may be reduced if the defendant proves that their drink was spiked at a party where they were drinking plain juice or if they have auto-brewery sydrome and weren't previously aware.

Your Actions Also Contributed To the Accident

Lastly, your damages may also be reduced if it's proven that your actions somehow contributed to the accident. Consider an example where a defendant causes a crash by ignoring traffic lights, but then you are found to have been going over the speed limit at the time of the crash. In this case, the defendant can successfully argue that the accident would have been minor if you had been driving within the speed limit.

This knowledge should help you craft a good strategy for maximizing your damages. An experienced car accident attorney can help you.