If you are involved in a car accident, there’s typically one individual who is at fault and another who is entitled to compensation from the first. Although this is the typical situation, it’s not always the case. Some accidents result in partial fault being placed on both parties. How do you know if you’re partially at fault? What does it mean for insurance claims and lawsuits?
How to Determine Fault
When you call the police after a car accident, the responding officer is going to make a report of the accident. This helps to determine fault. If you were completely obeying the law and the other driver broke the law, the other driver would typically be at fault for the accident. If you were the one breaking the law and the other driver was doing nothing wrong, you would hold the fault. Sometimes the responding officer will notice you both did something against the law.
For example, maybe you were putting makeup on while you were driving down the street. This would be considered “distracted driving.” Say another driver ran a stop sign and hit you. That would be considered “negligent driving.” Both are traffic violations and the officer may cite each of you for your respective violations. The insurance adjuster would then assign a percentage of blame to each individual. Perhaps running the stop sign was the greater offense, so that driver would hold 70% of the fault and you would hold 30%.
How Partial Fault Affects Claims
When you file a claim for an accident you are partially at fault for, you will not end up receiving the entire amount of compensation that you would if you were not at fault. For example, if you hold 30% of the fault and the settlement was $20,000, you would end up with 70% or $14,000. The other driver who holds 70% of the fault might receive the other $6,000 depending on the state in which you live. Some states don’t give any compensation to any party holding 50% or more of the fault.
Receiving Guidance from an Attorney
Being in a car accident can result in some costly consequences, but you may be entitled to compensation. Even if you are partially to blame for the accident, there’s a chance you could receive money to help pay for your medical bills and property repairs. Contact a lawyer, like a car accident lawyer in Towson, MD from Seigel & Rouhana, for guidance in how to receive compensation.