Car Accident Lawyer

What Happens If I’m Partly at Fault for a Car Accident

In many personal injury cases, there is someone else at fault for the injury. For example, perhaps someone drove drunk, ramming into your car and causing you to get whiplash. You could probably safely assume you’ll be receiving compensation from the drunk driver after the accident. There are other situations in which both parties are found to be at fault for the accident. What happens then? Will you be able to seek compensation?

Percentage of Fault

The percentage of fault you carry will play a role in how much compensation, if any, you are able to receive. For example, you may have been in a car accident because someone else ran a red light and hit your car. Maybe you were texting at the time of the accident so you didn’t see the other driver coming and didn’t swerve out of the way. A judge might look at that situation and say the driver who ran the red light was 80% at fault for the accident, but you carried 20% of the fault as well. If you hadn’t been texting, you would have seen the other driver and could have maneuvered your car to a safer place.

When there’s a percentage of fault for both parties, compensation isn’t paid in full to either party. If the settlement is $70,000 and you carry 20% of the fault, you would only receive 80% of the compensation, or $56,000. The other driver might receive the other $14,000. In some states, anyone holding 50% or more of the fault doesn’t receive anything, even if you only receive a portion of the compensable amount.

How Fault Is Determined

To determine who is at fault, or how much fault lies with each party, your lawyer and insurance company will look over all the information from the accident. The other party’s lawyer and insurance company will look everything over as well. Police reports, video evidence, photos from the accident scene, witness statements, photos of the injuries and photos taken after the accident could be used to set the stage so a determination can be made. Sometimes fault is determined by a judge.

Getting Your Lawyer Involved

After being involved in an accident in which you sustain personal injuries, you should hold the at-fault party liable. If you happen to be partly at fault for the accident, you may not be able to receive full compensation, but you might be able to receive some. A car accident lawyer in Rapid City, SD from a law firm such as The Law Offices of Clayborne, Loos & Sabers LLP may be of assistance.