When you’re injured in a personal injury case, you can typically file a claim or a lawsuit against the party responsible for the accident. Through legal proceedings, you would then receive compensation to help pay for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. This sounds like the way to go until you realize you carry part of the blame for the accident. What now?
Most accidents are the fault of just one party, but in some instances, there are multiple parties to blame. For example, if you are driving along and your cellphone rings, you might be distracted by the phone for even just a few seconds. If another driver runs a red light in those few seconds you’re looking at the phone, the other driver would most likely hold most of the blame. Because you could have swerved out of the way if you weren’t distracted, you could also hold part of the blame.
The officer who responds to your accident would make a report about what happened. In the report, he or she would note the details about the driver running the red light and you being distracted by your phone. Insurance adjusters might also conduct investigations, coming to the same conclusion as the police officer about whose fault the accident was. Sometimes it goes to a court and the court makes that determination.
How Fault Affects Compensation
If you’re seeking compensation for an accident that caused your injuries, fault often plays a role. If you are partially at fault, you may not be entitled to full compensation. For example, in some states, you are able to receive compensation only to the amount at which you were not at fault. If the other individual involved in your incident is found to hold 80% of the fault, and you hold 20%, you would only be able to receive 80% of the compensation.
Other states don’t allow you to receive any compensation if you hold even 1% of the fault. This is where a lawyer comes in handy. If the other party is trying to point the blame back at you, even just a fraction of it, it’s in an attempt to avoid having to pay anything in compensation. Your lawyer can fight for your rights by uncovering evidence that proves your case against the other party.
Contacting a Lawyer When You’re at Fault
Whether you hold partial fault, all the fault or no fault in an accident, it may benefit you to get a personal injury lawyer, such as from Cohen & Cohen, involved. Contact your personal injury lawyer today.