When you get into a car accident, you can claim compensation from either your own insurance company or the company of the other driver, but it depends on who caused the accident. Unfortunately, fault is not always black and white, as each driver may have contributed in some way to the accident. If you did, don’t worry just yet — you may still be able to receive compensation to pay for some of your expenses. Here’s how to tell if you were partially at fault and how that affects your case.
How Fault Affects Your Claim
You can only get compensated from the other driver’s insurance if you can prove that they were guilty of negligence on the road and caused the crash. The main benefit of this is that you’ll file a claim with their insurance, which avoids your own insurance premiums from spiking after the crash. In some situations where damage is minimal, attempting to file a claim with the other person’s insurance may not be worth your time. If it is, you must be prepared to defend your own innocence.
Examples of Partial Fault
It’s no surprise that driving comes with many hazards, and no matter how much you focus, distractions are inevitable. If a car pulls out in front of you when you have the right of way and you hit them, it could be entirely their fault; but if you were speeding, some of the fault may land on you. Or, if you strike a pedestrian who was jaywalking, both of you may be partially at fault because a pedestrian always has the right of way, but they weren’t using a crosswalk. Examples like these are often the case for car accidents, and you’ll need to understand how your own fault comes into play before you file a claim.
Types of Fault Laws
Not all states handle fault in the same way. Some use a comparative system that allows you to gain compensation from the other driver’s insurance relative to the amount you were responsible for the accident, meaning compensation could be split between both drivers (e.g., 40%-60%). Other states only allow you to collect money from the other’s insurance if you were less than 50% responsible for the crash. Some simply don’t allow you to make a claim with anyone else’s insurance at all.
Talk to a car accident lawyer, like from David & Philpot, PL, about your chances of a successful claim if you were partially responsible for the accident. Research your state laws to determine if fighting for a claim is the right choice.