Although in many car accidents, it is pretty clear who was responsible for the crash, it is not apparent in many others. If you have been in an accident where there was no clear party at fault or multiple parties at fault, including yourself, you may wonder if you still have a right to file a claim to get compensation for your injuries.
If more than one party turns out to be at least partially responsible for the accident, the fault is assigned as a percentage. Whether you will be able to file if you are partly at fault for the accident or not depends mainly on the state in which you live since some use contributory negligence law. In contrast, others have adopted what is known as the comparative negligence doctrine.
How do insurance companies handle accidents where more than one party is determined to be at fault?
After a car crash, it is customary that all victims will seek compensation from the party’s insurance company who is at fault. When there is more than one party at fault, insurance rules become much more challenging to navigate. You may start by bringing an initial claim with the other party’s insurance company to maximize the chances of receiving a recovery award. Afterward, report the accident to your insurance as well. The insurance companies will start their research into what happened to come up with a decision on how much to pay and to whom. Don’t jeopardize your chances of getting a fair amount by doing this on your own. The insurance company will either straight-out deny your claim or offer you a lowball amount that will be insufficient to cover the bills that have been accumulating since you were injured and lost your income.
Recovering Damages While Being Partially at Fault for The Accident
When you find out that you are at least partially at fault for the accident, get in touch with an accident attorney to help you understand your options. You don’t want to do this on your own. You may discover that the insurance company is attempting to deny your claim altogether. Let your attorney conduct their research into what happened and gather as much evidence as possible to minimize your degree of fault and fight to get you a fair settlement.
Even if it has been determined that you were partially responsible for the car accident and your injuries, you might still be able to seek compensation if the other party was more at fault for the accident. Having the proper legal representation by your side can make all the difference in whether you recover any damages or don’t.
During a consultation with your accident lawyer, you will have an opportunity to discuss the accident and explain what happened. Your lawyer will then decide whether it is worthwhile to pursue a claim and the next steps that need to be taken. Attorney Wattel recommends that you set up an initial appointment with an accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident to make sure no piece of evidence is lost and to increase your chances to recover compensation.