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Personal Injury Attorneys

What If One Of The Accident Victims Was Also At Fault?

Who is at fault in an accident is an important component of calculating compensation in personal injury cases. Each state has a different set of laws that determines how fault relates to the amount of award. After all, you can be the victim in a case, but if you’re half at fault, then the amount of your compensation will be reduced a certain percentage. And that’s the key about calculating compensation in relation to fault: If you’re partially at fault in an accident, it will reduce the amount of money you’re entitled to in an injury case.

Understanding percentages

When an accident happens, one of the first things that authorities and insurance agents need to determine is who is at fault. Sometimes one person is clearly at fault and there’s not much argument about it. The evidence supports one person causing the accident, and everyone else in that accident is a clear victim. In some accidents, BOTH people can be at fault, and in accidents where there are three or more drivers, fault can become very difficult to determine, but authorities will usually be able to determine a percentage of fault for each driver in the incident.

Enter the legal system. It’s now up to the legal system to distribute compensation based on fault. If you’re 30% to blame for an accident, that means you can recover 70% of the damages you otherwise could have recovered if you had been completely blameless. Not every state follows this exact example, but there are a good number of states that use this mentality: If you’re 50% to blame, you can recover 50% damages, and then so on like that.

How Fault Is Determined

After an accident occurs, authorities arrive on the scene. And during the accident, witnesses may have seen what happened. There will also be physical evidence at the scene that might shed light on the speed of each driver and who is at fault (skid marks are often photographed to help determine speed and incident circumstances). Everyone that is involved at the scene of the accident can contribute a vital piece of evidence about just who was at fault in an accident, and sometimes even the victim is somewhat to blame for their own accident. It doesn’t mean you can’t recover damages, though!

While you may not get 100% of damages from your accident like you would have if you were completely not at fault, you can still get compensation from a personal injury case. So many people mistakenly think that because they were partially at fault, they’re not entitled to damages, and this is a sad instance. Sometimes those people have a lifetime of pain from injury and so much financial hardship because of medical bills due to the injury. They would have been much better off if they had known that they could be awarded damages based on partial fault.

Contact an attorney

In short, you can be awarded compensation even if you were at fault in an accident. Once it’s been determined that more than one person was at fault, percentages can be assigned by investigators and people close to the case. Once that number is agreed upon, your damages will be reduced by the percentage you were at fault in the accident. While it’s a lower amount of compensation, it still means that you get some compensation for your injuries and the pain you’ve suffered from the accident.

If you’ve been injured in an accident but were partially at fault, don’t worry. A good attorney can help you receive some of the damages that you are owed in the case. While you won’t get as much compensation as you otherwise would have, you can still win a large settlement or award based on the percentage of the accident that was the other driver’s fault. Contact an attorney today to get help.

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