When an accident happens, determining who is at fault can be challenging. Most drivers usually assume that only one party is solely responsible for the accident. But what happens when two drivers are to blame for the collision? In most scenarios, both parties could be partly at fault, and this can change the entire course of a car accident claim. Today, we’ll explore the impacts of being partly at fault in a car accident and what to expect during the claims process.
The Effect on Your Settlement
If you were partly at fault for the car accident, the damages you receive can be significantly reduced or eliminated altogether. Under comparative negligence laws, the amount of compensation you receive is directly proportional to your degree of fault in the accident. Essentially, if you were 25% at fault for the collision, your compensation would be reduced by 25%.
The Insurance Company’s Role
Insurance companies play a significant role in determining how much compensation you receive in a car accident claim. When you are partly to blame for the accident, the insurance company will use your degree of fault to calculate your settlement amount. In most cases, the insurer will try to shift most of the blame to you, reducing your settlement in the process. Because of this, it’s crucial to have an experienced personal injury attorney who can negotiate on your behalf to ensure you receive a fair settlement from your insurance.
The Impact on Your Insurance Rates
If you were partly at fault for a car accident, this can impact your driving record and insurance rates, too. Most insurance companies use your driving record when determining your rates; a car accident can easily raise your rates by 40% or more, especially if you were at fault for the accident. Additionally, if the accident is severe and results in significant losses, it can remain on your driving record for up to ten years.
The Importance of Evidence
In a car accident claim, evidence is everything. When you are partly at fault, you must gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim. Your attorney can help you identify and collect the necessary evidence, including witness statements, police reports, and photos of the scene. With proper evidence, you can argue your case convincingly, potentially reducing your degree of liability and increasing your settlement.
The Statute of Limitations
When filing a car accident claim, you must adhere to the statute of limitations. This is the legal time frame after which you cannot file a claim. In most states, the statute of limitations for car accidents is two years. If you file a claim after this period, your case may be dismissed, and you may lose the right to pursue compensation. Therefore, no matter if you were partly at fault in a car accident or not, it’s important to contact a car accident lawyer immediately to ensure you file your claim within the specified time frame.
In conclusion, being partly at fault for a car accident can have a significant impact on your settlement, insurance rates, and driving record. It’s crucial to work with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate through the legal process and minimize your liabilities. By gathering enough evidence, your lawyer can identify any mitigating factors and develop a compelling argument that supports your case. Lastly, always adhere to the statute of limitations and file your claim within the specified deadline.
Author information: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter: @RachelleWilber