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:
- Driving while distracted
- Failing to obey traffic laws
- Failing to maintain their vehicle
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.