Determining liability after a
car accident is rarely a clear-cut matter. In fact, many car accident claims involve
heated disputes between involved parties and their insurance companies
regarding which driver is responsible for the collision. While independent
witness testimonies and police reports can help to clear up some of this
confusion and lead towards a definitive answer, unfortunately, this is
not always the case. What happens, then, if a car accident investigation
does not yield a clear answer, or if multiple parties are deemed to be at fault?
Split-Liability & Contributory Negligence
In these types of scenarios, many insurers tend to suggest that the involved
claimants accept a split liability agreement. Exactly as it sounds, a
split liability agreement involves both drivers accepting partial responsibility
for the crash and its resulting damages. This does not always equate to
a 50/50 split, however, as a person’s responsibility for the damages
and their eligible compensation will be based on their proportion of fault
for the collision, known as contributory negligence.
Factors which can contribute to a driver’s level of liability include:
For example, say you are hit while driving through an intersection by a
driver turning left without signaling. If it is determined that you were
speeding at the time of impact, your eligible compensation will be reduced
to the extent that you were speeding. With that being said, the driver
of the turning vehicle will also be found to be at fault, because they
failed to yield to oncoming traffic or use their turn signal as required by law.
How to Maximize Your Compensation
In order to successfully secure compensation for your injuries, you can
start by negotiating directly with the insurance company of the liable
person(s). This can be an uphill battle, as many insurance companies are
primarily concerned with protecting their own bottom lines and will often
offer a low amount that is far less than you actually deserve. If your
efforts to obtain a fair settlement offer are unsuccessful, then you may
want to consult with a personal injury lawyer about your case.
If you are being partially blamed for a car accident, contact the knowledgeable
Albuquerque car accident attorneys at Berenson & Associates, P.C.
today. With nearly 20 years of experience, our team of aggressive legal
professionals can represent your interests and advocate for the fair financial
recovery you need to push forward.
Call (505) 559-4117 or
schedule a confidential consultation to get started.