Who Is Responsible For A Car Accident? Are You Responsible Just For Being There?
A: We often hear people say that anyone involved in a car accident is partially to blame just for being involved in the accident. This popular myth is wrong. According to Wisconsin laws, a victim is not partially responsible just because they were at the scene of the accident.
Here is an example. An intoxicated driver, named Lois, rear ends Alice's car. Is Alice partially responsible for this accident?
First, we need to ask if Alice has done anything negligent. Under Wisconsin law, if Alice has not behaved negligently she should not be found responsible for the accident. Therefore she will not be held partially responsible for the accident.
Next, a jury is asked to evaluate how to determine the amount of negligence. In Wisconsin, the jury would be asked to assign negligence between the two parties involved, totaling to 100%. In this case, the jury to assign 100% to Lois and 0% to Alice.
The amount of negligance that is assigned to each party directly impacts how much money each party can recieve. So, if a verdict of $10,000 is determined then Lois (or her insurance company) would pay the full $10,000 since she was found to be accountable for 100% of the negligence. If the negligence is spilt, Alice would only recover the percentage of the verdict that she is no responsible for.