If you were injured in a car accident, and the other party is at fault, you can file a personal injury claim and recoup money for your past, current and future medical expenses, for your lost wages and for the pain and suffering you endured. However, if both you and the party you collided with are at fault, or share responsibility for the accident, you may wonder if this is an option for you and how the process may be different. Here are some of the questions that you may be wondering in such a situation and the answers.
Can a Personal Injury Claim be Filed if Two Parties Share Fault?
A personal injury claim can still be filed if you and another party share fault for the accident. It does not matter how much fault either party has either, as the award will depend on how much fault both parties have. For example, if you and the other party are equally responsible for the accident, the other party is only responsible for fifty percent of your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.
When Might Two Parties Share Fault for a Car Accident?
In some instances, one party is responsible for the car accident. The accident was their fault and you did not contribute to the accident at all. In other instances, both parties are at fault and share responsibility for the accident. This is referred to as comparative fault. Basically, comparative fault means that you both did something that led to the accident and a judge or jury has to weigh, or compare, the fault and decide what percentage of the accident is attributed to each party.
If both you and the other party were speeding, you may each have some fault in the accident. Or, if you both ran red lights or stop signs, you may be equally responsible for the accident.
It is also important to note that in some states, if your own negligence led to your injuries, you may be found to have some fault for those injuries, even though the accident was your fault. For example, if another driver ran a red light, but you weren't wearing your seat belt, you have fault for injuries. Your personal injury award can be reduced based on this in the same manner that it can be reduced if you bear fault in the accident.
How Can a Car Accident Attorney be Beneficial if Two Parties Share Fault for the Accident?
If comparative fault or comparative negligence are in play in your personal injury claim, it can be beneficial to hire a personal injury lawyer. Any time you are filing a personal injury claim, an attorney, such as those at Stapleton Law Offices, can help you file your claim before the statute of deadlines expires, obtain evidence on your behalf and negotiate a fair settlement for you. In addition to this, they can help secure evidence and witnesses that may help minimize your involvement in the accident. Minimizing your involvement cuts back on your at-fault percentage, which ultimately can net you a higher settlement. These cases can be tricky and complex, so having an experienced lawyer can be beneficial.
Some personal injury cases are clear-cut and straight-forward. One party is at fault for the others injuries and they have to shoulder the responsibility for those injuries. Other cases are more complex. Cases where you may share fault with another party are an example of this. If you were involved in an accident and share responsibility for the accident, getting answers to your questions will help you better to understand what the differences are in this type of case and what you can expect.