In terms of law, when you’re in an accident, the person at fault has to pay for injuries and damages. Unfortunately, things aren’t always as cut and dry. Some wrecks may not be one hundred percent one person’s fault. If you’re involved in this type of situation, then the court will have to determine how it affects the case. No matter how much you are to blame, it’s important to know that it will affect how much compensation you can seek.
How to Determine Fault
During a personal injury claim, fault is an important component. To be held responsible, one party has to have been careless or negligent. When a court determines fault, that person has to pay for any medical bills, losses or expenses. In some cases, the jury might decide that the accident was partially your fault. For instance, say that you weren’t wearing a seatbelt during an accident. If your injuries are worse due to the lack of seatbelt, then you are partially responsible for your own injuries.
In states where there are comparative fault laws, the court will analyze how much fault lies with each individual. If the court determines that the accident was fifteen percent your fault, then you are only entitled to receive about 85 percent of the compensation. In order for you to receive compensation, then the other party has to be at least 50 percent at fault.
In no fault states, you have to file a claim with your insurance company. In this case, you have to file a personal injury suit against the other driver. Even in these cases, you’re going to use comparative fault. If you were partially at fault, then the driver will only have to pay a percentage of your medical bills. Keep in mind that if your medical insurance paid out, then the insurance company may be entitled to a percentage of your award also. A lawyer is able to talk you through the specifics of no fault and comparative fault.
Car accident cases are not always black and white. In fact, they can be relatively confusing, especially if you have no experience with car accident law or personal injury law. Due to this, you will want to speak with a car accident lawyer to find out more about what your options are. If fault isn’t easy to determine or you’re worried you could lose the compensation that you deserve, contact a lawyer today.