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What Happens if Both Parties Are at Fault in an Accident?

A car accident can result in severe injuries to drivers and passengers alike. If you were a driver in an accident and suffered injuries, you may be wondering if you are entitled to compensation. The answer is not always black and white, however. If the other driver was 100% at fault, then odds are he or she would have to pay for your medical bills and property damage. However, if you believe that you had some fault in the accident, you may not be able to receive 100% of the damages.

How Can Two Parties Be at Fault?

Accidents most often occur because of a driver’s error on the road. For example, if a driver runs a red light and hits you while you are obeying the traffic rules, then odds are he or she will be responsible for your injuries. However, if one driver runs a red light and you weren’t wearing a seatbelt, then you might be responsible for a percentage of your injuries. A car accident lawyer, like one from Greenspan & Greenspan P.C. would have to determine what injuries would have been prevented if you had been wearing a seatbelt.

How Can You Determine Fault?

If you want to determine how much fault you had in an accident, you should consult with a lawyer. He or she will help you look at the accident, the contributing factors and who has the primary responsibility. To figure out fault, you may need to examine:

  • Police reports
  • Witness statements
  • Video and photographic evidence

Different states have different laws regarding fault in an accident. In contributory negligence states, you cannot collect damages if you were partially responsible for the accident. However, in comparative negligence states, you can share damages based on your individual share. Once your lawyer calculates your percentage of fault, he or she can subtract it from the overall damages to come up with a fair settlement.

Keep in mind that some states have modified comparative negligence rules. This means that if you are more than 50% or 51% at fault for an accident, you cannot collect on damages. In pure comparative negligence states, it does not matter your percentage.

When it comes to accidents, there is not always one person to blame. If you were injured and share partial fault, you could still seek compensation for your injuries. Consult with a lawyer as soon as possible to figure out if you have a solid case and how much your settlement is worth.

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