If you suffered injuries in a car accident, you might be wondering who will pay for your damages. Pursuing a claim for compensation can be challenging. You can expect the other driver’s insurance to say you’re at fault for the collision. But what happens if you are both partially responsible? Can you get any money if you’re partially at fault for the accident? Your ability to collect money for your injuries depends on which state the accident occurred in.
Can You Still File a Car Accident Claim If You Were Found Partially At Fault?
In California, yes, you can still file a car accident claim when you’re partially at fault. California is a pure comparative negligence state. That means you can file a claim even if you are primarily at fault for the accident.
In some states, you cannot pursue compensation for your injuries if you are even one percent at fault. Other states won’t allow you to recover any money if you’re more than 50% at fault. In California, you can be up to 99% liable and still collect compensation. However, your recovery is limited by your own percentage of fault. For example, if you are 60% responsible, you would only receive 40% of your damages.
It’s important to note the other driver can also collect compensation from your insurance company. For example, when you’re 60% at fault, the other driver can pursue 60% of their damages from you. That’s why working with an experienced lawyer to build a strong case is crucial. You need a legal advocate on your side. Otherwise, the defendant’s insurance company will allege you were primarily or solely at fault and prevent you from getting all of the compensation you are eligible to receive.
If I am Partially At Fault, Can I Sue for an Injury?
Yes, you can file a personal injury lawsuit if you’re partially at fault for an accident. There are several scenarios where filing a lawsuit might be a good option in California:
- The defendant’s insurance won’t engage in meaningful settlement negotiations;
- You cannot reach an agreement on liability; or
- The statute of limitations is approaching.
While most lawsuits settle before trial, taking your case to a jury may be necessary to decide fault percentages. Your attorney will explain whether filing a lawsuit is best for you based on the facts of your case.
How to Strengthen Your Case
To be eligible for compensation, you must have adequate proof demonstrating the other driver’s fault. One of the best ways to do this is by hiring a California car accident lawyer early on. When you retain Beliz Law Firm, we will conduct a thorough independent investigation and collect all available evidence to help strengthen your claim.
Having photos from the accident scene is very helpful. If you can do so safely and without further injuring yourself, get pictures of vehicle damage, skid marks, and the surrounding scene right after an accident occurs.
An attorney may also hire various types of experts to support your claim, including an accident reconstructionist. An accident reconstructionist is a recognized expert on recreating accidents and discussing who was most likely at fault based on multiple scientific parameters. Their report and testimony could become a crucial part of your case.
Recoverable Compensation in a Car Accident Claim
The compensation you’re eligible to receive will vary based on the facts and circumstances of your case. In general, recoverable compensation includes:
- Medical expenses to date,
- Future medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Future loss of earning capacity,
- Property damage,
- Pain and suffering,
- Mental anguish, and
- Loss of consortium and enjoyment of life.
Your percentage of legal liability has a significant impact on how much compensation you ultimately receive. If your damages are $100,000 and you’re 60% at fault, the maximum you can receive is $40,000. Don’t risk receiving less money than you deserve because you pursued a claim without a skilled attorney representing you.
Contact Our California Car Accident Lawyers Today
If you are searching online for answers to “what happens if I am partially at fault for a collision,” contact Beliz Law Firm. We have nearly two decades of experience assisting injured car accident victims in California. Our legal team has helped countless clients fight for the compensation they deserve.
We know the strategies and tactics insurance companies use to lowball you. They will make you believe they are offering you the maximum compensation you deserve when it’s significantly less than your case is worth. No matter what the defendant’s insurance company tries to make you believe, they are not on your side. The insurance adjuster is looking out for the company’s bottom line, not your best interest.Schedule a free initial consultation with a lawyer at Beliz Law Firm today to learn more about compensation when you’re partially at fault in an accident.