Do I still have a claim if the accident is partially my fault?
If you are in an accident that is partially your fault, you might wonder if you still have a claim. The short answer is yes, but there are a few details that you need to consider and that the insurance company will look at regarding the nature of the accident. One of the things that a jury or a judge will look for is comparative negligence. This means that the deciding party can declare that more than one person caused the accident. One driver might be 60 percent responsible while the other driver is only held at 40 percent of the responsibility for the fault of the accident. Since both drivers are at fault, then the damages that would be awarded may bedecreased. For some drivers, it’s not worth the hassle of filing a claim. The total amount that you would receive after the accident would be determined by your fault in the accident. If you are 30 percent at fault, then the damages received would be decreased by 30 percent.
Contributory negligence is another element that many states look at when determining if a claim can be filed. As with comparative negligence, some states uphold the regulations pertaining to this component in a strict manner while other states might make a decision about who can file a claim and who can’t depending on the responsibility determined by each driver. States that uphold this element will not award damages to any driver who files a claim for injuries if that driver was partially at fault for the accident. Insurance companies in most states have adjustors who will examine the scene of an accident and who will work with state and local highway patrol officials to come to a conclusion as to who was at fault in the accident before making a final decision regarding any money that is to be awarded to drivers.
Even if you believe you may be partially at fault for an accident, it is still worthwhile to contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your case. Additional investigation led by an experienced personal injury attorney may uncover facts that you did not know about the accident that would put a greater amount of fault on the other party. For example, the other driver may have been drinking prior to the accident or the other driver was distracted by his cell phone at the time of the accident. One thing to keep in mind would be not to let another driver try to make you feel guilty about the accident and make you think that you were completely at fault when the other driver could have been responsible as well.
If you think that you won’t be able to file a claim, it’s best to talk to a personal injury attorney. Even a small portion of the amount of a claim is beneficial so that you can pay for medical treatment and have money set aside for lost wages while you recover or try to find another vehicle