If you’ve been in a car accident, you know that the cases are not always black and white. It’s difficult enough to recover after an accident, but the claims process can be even more frustrating. Sometimes a car accident has clear fault. Other times, it’s difficult to say who is to blame. After a car accident, you may be wondering what will happen if you’re partially to blame for the accident? Will this affect your claim? The short answer is that it may affect your claim, but it may not be as simple as you would otherwise think.
Percentage of Fault
If you are partially responsible for an accident, then you may also be responsible for part of the damages. For instance, the court may take a percentage of the fault. For instance, if you pursue a claim, but the jury finds that you are ten percent responsible, then your potential claim ends up reduced by ten percent. Your blame affects your case because it determines how much you can receive.
Pure Comparative Negligence
Comparative negligence allows the court to attribute part of the blame for an accident to multiple parties. With this rule, you can pursue damages after a crash. However, if you are partially to blame, you cannot recover full compensation. It’s important to note that even if a car causes the accident, if you don’t take the proper safety precautions, your injuries may still be your fault. For instance, if a car hits yours and you weren’t wearing a seatbelt, you may be rewarded less because your injuries would be minor if you were wearing a seatbelt.
Fault determination is complicated. While police will usually issue a citation, this doesn’t necessarily end the dispute. In some cases, insurance companies and lawyers will negotiate on who was at fault. If the lawyers and insurers come up with a decision, you may not have to go to court. If they do not, however, you may have to take the case to court to settle who was at fault or if both drivers were at fault. A jury will decide who was at fault and apportion the damages respectively.
An accident is stressful enough. If you’re partially to blame, it can affect your case. Speaking with an attorney can help you determine what to expect from a case where there are multiple parties to blame. Odds are, it will affect the maximum you can ask for. If you’ve been in a car accident, contact a car accident lawyer today.