At fault, negligent, reckless, liable: Are they all the same?

What if you're driving along a Minnesota highway on your way to visit friends or family, and suddenly another vehicle tries to cut you off on the road, but misjudges the space between you and smashes into your vehicle? Although you may be happy just to be alive, you may also be looking at a long, hard road ahead for recovery. Hopefully, first responders attended your injuries in a timely manner and transported you to the nearest hospital for treatment.

Perhaps you had to spend several days in the hospital before you were able to go home. All the while, a million thoughts swarmed your mind, such as when you'd be able to go back to work, whether there was anything left of your car, and who should pay all the medical bills you knew would start rolling in before long.

Statutes, common law and regulations that may help you claim damages

If you were doing your best behind the wheel to remain cautious and alert and another driver does something (which you had no way of controlling) that causes you injury, you should not have to be financially responsible for any care or expenses you incur in relation to the accident. Personal injury claim laws are sometimes complicated and difficult to understand. The following list provides information explaining the difference between several key terms:

  • Any willful disregard for posted traffic signs, state regulations or other people's safety counts as reckless behavior under the law.
  • If a driver fails to yield a right-of-way in your favor when required to do so, that behavior may be negligent, albeit not precisely reckless.
  • Intentional misconduct is another issue altogether, such as someone purposely trying to run another person over with a car.
  • You may be found liable in your own accident for certain reasons, such as if you neglected to follow state laws, then suffered injury in a collision. One example would be not wearing a motorcycle helmet if required, then suffering a head injury in an accident.

The exact cause of a motor vehicle accident is not always immediately apparent. If you plan to seek legal accountability against another driver, it is best to gather as much information as evidence as possible regarding the events that led to your collision before heading to court.

Who can help?

Many Minnesota accident victims rely on experienced assistance to document the details of their accidents before filing claims. An experienced injury lawyer can tap into many resources that can help substantiate a claim, such as enlisting third party testimony from medical doctors, or others who can testify to the severity of a particular injury as well as what is likely to have caused it.

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