Can I Be Found Partially at Fault for the Accident?
Yes, you can be found partially at fault for a car accident. However, you can still seek compensation for your damages based on the percentage of blame assigned to you, depending on the laws of your state.
For example, some states, including New York, follow pure comparative rule. That means if you were partially at fault for the accident, you can recover damages from the other driver’s insurance company.
However, determining your eligibility for compensation in a shared fault insurance claim can be difficult. The other driver’s insurer may try to shift blame onto you or may deny your damages. That’s why consulting a car accident lawyer is highly recommended.
Get in touch with Uptown Injury car accident lawyers today at 917-540-8728 to get a free case review.
What to Do After a Shared Fault Car Accident?
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 6 million car accidents occur in the United States each year, and they vary in terms of fault distribution. Here’s what you should do when you find yourself in such a situation.
Stay calm and check yourself and the other driver for any injuries. Call 911 if needed, take photographs of the accident scene, and file a police report.
However, remember your perspective on the accident might differ from that of other involved parties or nearby witnesses. Even when you think you might have made some mistakes in the accident, it doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be held entirely at fault. That’s why it’s crucial to avoid discussing too much about who you think might be responsible with witnesses, emergency responders, or anyone else at the scene.
How Partial Fault is Determined in a Car Accident Claim?
Partial fault in a car accident is determined through a comprehensive assessment by insurance companies. They analyze the accident, consider evidence, consult with the other party’s insurer, and may assign a percentage of fault, such as 70/30 or 90/10, based on legal and situational factors. Moreover, is determined through police reports, eyewitness statements, and relevant evidence.
In states that follow “pure comparative negligence,” partial fault in a car accident claim is determined based on the degree of responsibility assigned to each party involved. The concept behind this system is to ensure that individuals are compensated in proportion to their level of fault.
For example, if you are found to be 30% responsible for an accident while the other driver is 70% at fault, you may receive compensation for 70% of your expenses.
Pure comparative negligence laws are followed by 13 states in the U.S., including New York, California, and Florida. It’s essential to understand the rules in your specific state, as they can greatly impact the outcome of a car accident claim involving partial fault.
Modified Comparative Negligence
In states with modified comparative negligence rules, such as Florida, the approach to determining partial fault is slightly different. Under this system, you may not recover expenses from the other driver’s insurance if you are found to be more than 50-51% at fault for the accident.
For example, if you are determined to be 60% responsible for the accident, you might have to cover your medical costs and repair costs yourself. According to the latest updates, 33 states, including Texas and New Jersey, follow a modified comparative negligence approach.
Contributory Negligence (or Pure Negligence)
In a few states, contributory negligence is the rule. This means that if you bear any responsibility for an accident, no matter how small, you may not be able to recover expenses from the other party’s insurance.
For example, even if you’re just 1% responsible for an accident, in contributory negligence states, you may not receive compensation from the other driver’s insurance. States with contributory negligence laws include Alabama, the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Dakota, and Virginia.
Understanding the specific laws in your state and how they apply to your case is essential for car accident claims involving partial fault. The nuances and details of these laws can significantly impact the outcome of your claim. Therefore, consulting with a local attorney who is well-versed in your state’s legal framework is recommended to ensure a thorough understanding of your situation and the potential implications of partial fault.
What Steps Should You Take After a Car Accident If You’re at Fault?
In a car accident with shared fault, it’s crucial to take the necessary steps to protect your rights and ensure a fair resolution. According to the Insurance Information Institute, shared fault is a common occurrence in car accidents. In 2019, 57% of fatal car crashes involved multiple vehicles.
Here’s What You Should Do
1. Ensure Safety: Firstly, check for injuries and call 911 if necessary. Move to a safe location to prevent further accidents or injuries.
2. Exchange Information: Exchange information with the other vehicle driver(s). This should include names, contact details, insurance information, and license plate numbers.
3. Don’t Admit Fault: Refrain from admitting fault at the scene, as this can affect insurance claims and legal proceedings.
4. Document the Scene: Take photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and any road conditions that may have contributed to the accident. This documentation can be crucial when determining fault.
5. File a Police Report: Even in minor accidents, it’s advisable to contact the police and file a report. This official documentation can help in determining the fault later on.
6. Witness Statements: If there are witnesses, ask for their contact information and statements. Independent witnesses can provide valuable insights into the accident when you’re dealing with insurance claims.
7. Notify the Insurance Company: Inform your insurance company about the accident, even if you believe you share the fault. Be truthful and cooperative during this process.
8. Seek Medical Attention: Even if you don’t feel hurt, it’s crucial to visit a doctor. Some injuries may not show right away, and having a medical record can be crucial for any potential claims.
9. Consult an Attorney: If you believe you share fault, you may still be entitled to compensation. Insurance adjusters will assess your claim and offer settlements. Consult your personal injury lawyer to ensure you receive a fair settlement that considers shared fault.
10. Don’t Discuss on Social Media: Avoid discussing the accident on social media platforms, as such information can potentially be used against you.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help When You’re at Fault?
Car accidents can be complex, and when you find yourself at fault, it’s crucial to understand how a car accident lawyer can help you. Despite being at fault, there are still various ways a car accident attorney can help you navigate the legal and insurance processes.
Legal Expertise and Advice
Car accident lawyers possess a good understanding of the complexities of personal injury law. According to the American Bar Association, personal injury cases often involve challenging legal procedures. A skilled attorney can provide valuable legal advice and help you understand your rights and responsibilities even if you’re at fault.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
In 2014, the Insurance Research Council published a study titled “Attorney Involvement in Auto Injury Claims,” which provides compelling evidence.
This research revealed that, on average, individuals who had legal representation in their injury claims received settlements that were over 3.5 times greater than those who chose to handle their claims independently, without the assistance of an attorney.
This information underscores the importance of hiring a car accident lawyer, particularly when you find yourself at fault and have concerns about covering the costs associated with the accident.
Investigating the Accident
Your lawyer meticulously collects and presents evidence, such as witness statements, accident reports, and available video footage, to accurately depict the situation. This factual representation may reveal shared responsibility with the other party, potentially leading to a higher compensation amount compared to what the insurance adjuster initially offered.
Assessing Comparative Negligence
In cases where shared fault is a factor, a car accident lawyer can assess comparative negligence laws in your state. Your lawyer will work to ensure that you are not unfairly held responsible for more than your share of the blame.
Evaluating Settlement Offers
You might receive settlement offers from other driver’s insurance company, but are they fair? Your car accident lawyer can weigh the pros and cons of each offer, ensuring you don’t accept less than you deserve.
Maximizing Your Compensation
A personal injury lawyer’s primary goal is to fight for the best financial outcome for you. They work tirelessly to make sure you receive the maximum compensation you need to address your medical expenses, lost income, and other costs stemming from the accident.
If the case goes to court, your attorney will provide strong representation. According to the National Center for State Courts, only a small fraction of personal injury cases go to trial, but having a lawyer with trial experience can be critical when dealing with complex issues of fault.
If I Am Partially At Fault, Can I Sue For An Injury?
Yes, even if you bear partial responsibility, you may still have the legal right to sue for an injury. However, the eligibility to sue depends on the laws in your state, and the principle of comparative negligence often governs this concept.
According to the American Bar Association, in states that follow a comparative negligence system, your ability to recover compensation or damages may be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault.
However, you can still pursue a lawsuit to seek compensation for your injuries as long as the legal system in your state allows for it. That’s why you should seek help from a personal injury attorney for a comprehensive understanding of your case.
Will My Car Insurance Rates Increase If I am at fault for an Accident?
Yes, your car insurance rates are likely to increase if you are at fault for an accident. According to data from State Farm, one of the famous auto insurance providers in the United States, being at fault for an accident can result in a noticeable increase in your insurance premiums.
State Farm’s statistics show that at-fault accidents typically lead to higher rates because insurance companies consider drivers who cause accidents a higher risk. Moreover, the specific amount of the increase can depend on several factors, including:
- The severity of the accident
- Your driving history
- Regulations in your state
If You Cause a Car Accident, What Damages Does Your Insurance Cover?
If you cause a car accident, your insurance typically covers various damages, including:
Your insurance will cover the expenses of repairing or replacing the other party’s vehicle or property damaged in the accident. According to Insurance Information Institute statistics, the average car accident liability claim in 2020 for property damage amounted to $4,711.
If the accident results in injuries to others, your liability insurance may cover their medical bills. The same survey from the Insurance Information Institute found an average injury settlement amount of $20,235. A Martindale-Nolo survey also reported an average settlement of $23,900.
Pain and Suffering
Your insurance might also cover pain and suffering damages, which can be challenging to quantify. Most survey respondents, however, received less than $10,000 in settlements, emphasizing the variability in these non-economic damages. The amounts can vary significantly, often depending on the severity of the injuries.
If the accident leads to the other party’s inability to work, your insurance may cover their lost wages. In 2020, the surveys indicate that many settlements were in the range of $20,000 to $25,000, reflecting the potential financial impact on an at-fault driver.
Get Help From Our New York Car Accident Lawyers!
If you find yourself in a challenging situation, having caused a car accident, and unsure about the next steps. Don’t worry—Uptown Injury Law, PLLC, is here to guide you. Our skilled car accident lawyers offer a free consultation and help you understand your options and rights during this difficult time.
Why Choose Uptown Injury:
- Best Injury Lawyers in New York: Our track record speaks for itself. We’ve successfully recovered millions for our clients through verdicts and settlements.
- Personal Injury Expertise: With over 15 years of experience, we specialize in personal injury cases and have the knowledge to navigate even the most complex car accident cases.
- No Fee Unless You Win: You won’t have to worry about upfront costs. We believe in ensuring equal access to justice, which is why our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis.
What Damages Does My Car Insurance Cover if I Cause a Car Accident?
When you are at fault for a car accident, your car insurance coverage typically includes various damages, such as medical bills, prescription medications, vehicle repairs, lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering. This coverage ensures that you have financial support for these essential aspects in the aftermath of an accident.
What Does It Mean to Be Partially at Fault?
Being partially at fault after a car accident means you share some responsibility but not the entire blame. It happens when another party’s negligence contributes to the accident, but you also have some involvement.
What Happens if the Car Accident Was Your Fault?
If the car accident was your fault, several things may occur. You may be held liable for damages and injuries, and your insurance premiums could increase. You’ll need to report the accident to your insurance company, who will assess the extent of coverage based on your policy. In some cases, legal action might be taken against you, and you may be responsible for compensating the other party’s losses.
How Does Insurance Work When It’s Not Your Fault?
When an accident isn’t your fault, insurance works by having the responsible party’s insurance cover your expenses. You’ll file a claim with their insurance company, which should pay for your medical bills, vehicle repairs, and related costs. Therefore, it’s recommended to gather evidence and promptly report the accident to ensure a smooth process.
Can I File a Claim if It Was My Fault?
Yes, you can still file an accident claim even if the accident was your fault. Your insurance may cover damages, depending on your policy. However, it’s essential to report the incident promptly to your insurance company.
Is It OK to Admit Fault in a Car Accident?
It’s generally not advisable to admit fault in a car accident, even if you think you might be responsible. Admitting fault can have legal and financial consequences. Instead, it’s better to exchange information with the other party and let insurance companies determine liability based on evidence.
How to Find the Best Car Accident Lawyer Near Me?
To find the best car accident lawyer near you, conduct thorough online research, read client reviews, and seek referrals from trusted sources. Additionally, consider scheduling initial consultations with potential accident injury attorneys to assess their qualifications and determine the best fit for your needs.
What Are the Common Types of Injuries in a Car Accident?
Common Types of Injuries in a Car Accident Include:
3. Head Injuries
4. Cuts and Bruises
5. Back Injuries
6. Internal Injuries
7. Knee and Leg Injuries
8. Airbag Injuries
9. Psychological Trauma
10. Soft Tissue Injuries
How to Determine Fault in a Car Accident Case?
In a car accident case, the fault is determined through an investigation that considers various factors such as:
– Police reports and their findings.
– Eyewitness testimonies and statements.
– Physical evidence collected from the accident scene.
– State-specific laws and regulations governing liability.
– Assessment of any contributing factors, like traffic violations or weather conditions.