Can Both Parties Be At Fault in a Car Accident?
By Chris Dixon
It is the insurance company’s job to decide who is at fault in a car accident involving more than one party. In some accidents, there is a clear answer of who is liable. In other car accidents, the circumstances of a crash may show that both parties are at fault. If both parties are at fault in a car accident, this can be confusing for all parties involved in the accident to deal with. Hiring a car accident lawyer can make sure that you are aware of your rights, understand every step of the settlement negotiation process and get the highest settlement amount possible.
Proving That Both Parties are At Fault in a Car Accident?
When a car accident happens, it is critical to call the police and file an official police report. Responding officers will examine evidence from the accident and determine who and what caused the crash. Sometimes, both parties are found to be at fault for an accident. If both parties are liable for an accident, the insurance company has to determine the amount of fault each driver played in the crash on a scale of 1-99%. The amount that each party can recover in damages from the accident is correlated to this percentage, so it is important to fully understand who played what part in causing the accident before filing an accident claim with your personal injury lawyer.
If Both Parties Are At Fault for a Car Accident Can They Both Claim Damages?
In some car accidents, depending on the circumstances of how it happened, both parties could potentially claim damages from a car accident. Whether both at-fault parties can claim damages is dependent on if the state that the accident happened in is a no fault or at fault state. In a no-fault state, drivers are required to carry no-fault insurance. If an accident happens drivers have to file an insurance claim with their own insurance company for damages, not the other party’s, regardless of fault. The other driver is ineligible to sue for damages, regardless of fault, and must file a claim with their own insurance company too.
If both parties are at fault for an accident in an at fault state, both parties may be able to recover damages from one another. Each at fault party in the accident is assigned a percentage of fault for the accident, ranging from 1-99%, and this percentage determines how much in damages they can recover from the other driver. If one driver is 20% at fault in a car accident and the other driver is 80% at fault and both have $100,000 in damages, the driver who is 20% at fault could claim 80% of the amount in damages, so $80,000, and the other driver could claim 20% or $20,000.
Consult with an Attorney to Explore the Options Available to Your Case
It is critical to consult with an attorney if you and another driver are both at fault in a car accident. If you do not agree with the percentage of fault that is placed on your actions in the accident, your lawyer can help you dispute this and negotiate for a lesser amount of fault in the accident. Keep in mind, this is why it is essential to gather as much evidence as possible following a car accident. The more evidence that your car accident lawyer has to work with when fighting for your case, the better chance your case will have of winning the highest settlement possible. If you are ready to speak with a car accident lawyer about your car accident case, contact the Dixon Injury Firm. Our personal injury firm uses a contingency plan, so you will only have to pay for our legal services if we successfully win damages for your case.