What if You are Partially at Fault for a Car Accident or Injuries?
Car accidents are complex events. The cause of the accident itself and the injuries you suffered may be due to a variety of factors. Maybe you failed to notice that a light was about to turn red, or you forgot to fasten your seatbelt before heading out onto the road. While other drivers in the accident or their insurers may try to convince you that your actions mean that you are responsible for paying your own costs, do not fall for this. Consult with our Bradenton car accident attorney first, before signing away your rights in a claim.
Assigning Blame in Car Accidents
Car accidents can be caused by multiple factors, which include reckless driving behaviors along with road, traffic, and weather conditions. In some situations, fault for the accident may lay squarely on the shoulders of one of the drivers. In other cases, each may share a portion of the blame. As a general rule, never admit liability or even acknowledge partial fault for an accident, either at the scene or when speaking with an insurance representative. This information can and will be used against you, as a way of either denying or reducing your claim.
In determining fault after a car accident, insurance adjusters will conduct an investigation. Evidence that is often collected in these cases includes:
- Statements from both drivers;
- Police accident reports;
- Eyewitness accounts of the crash;
- Photos of the accident scene and vehicles involved;
- Videotape from nearby traffic monitors and store parking lot cameras;
- Testimony from accident reconstruction experts.
It is important to realize that an adjuster’s job depends on saving money for the insurance company they work for. They are likely to not be as thorough in investigations, and will focus on evidence which puts you to blame. This is one of many reasons why it is so crucial to have an experienced car accident attorney on your side, who will gather evidence in support of your case.
If You Are Partially at Fault
Even if you are partially responsible for a car accident or your injuries, you may still be entitled to compensation. Under Florida’s comparative fault statutes, provided your portion of blame is less than 50 percent, you can still seek damages in an insurance claim or lawsuit. The amount you are entitled to will be reduced, though, as the following example illustrates:
- You are involved in a car accident in which you are determined to be 40 percent responsible;
- Your total damages in the car accident were $100,000;
- The amount you are entitled to is reduced by your percent to blame, meaning that the amount of compensation you receive is $60,000.
If you have suffered injuries in an accident in which you are partly to blame, call or contact the Law Office of Steven G. Lavely online before making any statements or signing any documents. Our Bradenton car accident attorney provides the professional legal representation you need to defend your rights, so you can get the compensation you are entitled to. Request a consultation today.