What If You Were Partially at Fault for a Car Accident?
Car accidents can cause serious injuries that lead to unexpected medical bills and lost wages. To help cover the mounting expenses, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party.
But what if you were partially at fault yourself? Can you still file a lawsuit? Here are the answers to all your questions.
Can I File a Personal Injury Claim If I Was Partially at Fault for a Car Accident?
Car accidents aren’t always just one person’s fault.
For example, if a driver was cruising too close behind you, then rear-ended you after you failed to signal, you may both be at fault. If you were speeding and collided with a driver who was under the influence of alcohol at the time, you may also both be at fault.
Many Minnesota drivers think that because they were partially at fault for a car accident, they can’t get the compensation they need. Fortunately, that’s not the case.
Even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you may still be able to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Will My Own Insurance Cover the Costs of My Injury?
Minnesota is a “no-fault” state. That means that your insurance company must pay for your medical bills (and some income losses) even if the accident was partially your fault.
So why would you need to file a lawsuit against anyone? Why not just let the personal injury protection (PIP) under your own auto insurance policy handle it?
Well, there are limits to how much PIP you’re entitled to. It may not be enough to cover all of your expenses in the aftermath of an injury. In order to get further financial support, you would need to file a claim against another at-fault driver.
How Much Compensation Could I Get If I Was Partially at Fault?
Once you file your claim, both sides will have to decide who holds the greater responsibility for causing the accident. This will be rated on a percentage-based scale.
If you bear less than 50% of the responsibility, any compensation you receive from the other party’s insurance company will be reduced by whatever percentage is assigned to you. For example, if you are 20% responsible, your compensation will go down 20%. If you are 35% responsible, it will go down 35%.
However, if you bear more than 50% of the responsibility, you won’t be entitled to any compensation at all from the other party’s insurance company.
How Is the Percentage of Fault Determined?
In order to decide what percentage of responsibility you and the other driver bear, both legal teams will look over all the factors that may have caused the accident.
- Were you distracted by your phone?
- Did the other driver run a red light?
- Were your taillights out?
- Did a pedestrian jump out in front of your vehicle?
If neither side can agree to a fair settlement based on the factors involved, the lawsuit will go to trial. Then, a judge or jury will award responsibility as they see fit.
No insurance company is ever in any hurry to pay out any damages, though, and you might have trouble getting what you’re entitled to on your own.
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, we can help. The SiebenCarey team has assisted thousands of personal injury victims in getting the compensation they need, and we’d be happy to do the same for you.
We’ll study the details of your accident, make sure you understand your rights, and see to it that you get every dollar you’re owed.