If both parties involved in a car accident are responsible for the resulting damage, it is recommended that they file a personal injury claim. Consider the following:
Comparative Fault States
Most states are referred to as “comparative fault” states. This means that when a personal injury claim is filed, the court will consider each party’s degree of responsibility. The amount of compensation each party is entitled to is determined in direct relation to their degree of responsibility.
If You Are Less than 50 Percent to Blame
If you are less than 50 percent to responsible for the accident in question, you are entitled to compensation and should file a personal injury claim. The amount of compensation you receive will be adjusted according to your own degree of fault. For example, if you are found to be 40 percent responsible, you will receive less compensation than if you were found to be only 25 percent at fault.
If You Are 50 Percent or More to Blame
If the accident was primarily your fault, filing a personal injury claim may be a good defense strategy. Chances are that the individual who was less to blame will be filing a personal injury claim as well. You do not want the courts to assume that the accident was completely your fault and you can protect yourself by filing your own personal injury claim.
While you may not be entitled to any damages because you were more than 50 percent at fault, the amount of damages that you are responsible for can be reduced if you can prove the extent of which the other party is to blame. For example, the other party may claim that you are entirely responsible for the accident. If you can prove that you were only 70 percent at fault, you will be responsible for less compensation than if you had been entirely to blame for the accident.
Consulting with a Personal Injury Attorney
If you are involved in a car accident and believe you may be responsible for any part of the accident, it is advisable to consult with a personal injury attorney. Even if you do not plan on filing a personal injury claim, you will need the advice of this attorney. A professional will help you determine any damages you may be responsible for and how to limit your liability.
If you do plan on filing a personal injury claim and you are partly to blame for the accident, it is extremely important to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney. An attorney will determine the extent of your responsibility for the accident and will help you present the best possible case.