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What should I do if I think the accident was at least partly my fault?

1 Nov 2016

It’s uncommon that the circumstances of a car accident are as simple as one person admitting fault for the collision. There are accidents that occur because more than one driver was somehow reckless or negligent behind the wheel. You can still receive compensation if you believe that you do have some fault in the auto accident, but these cases must be handled correctly for the best outcome.

Protecting Yourself After the Accident
The worst thing that you could possibly do after any collision is admit that you are at fault in any way. A lot of opinions tend to come out in the heat of the stressful moment, but you don’t have to say anything to the other driver or witnesses. You have a unique perspective on the accident, and you may know that you were exceeding the speed limit or focusing on the radio at the moment of impact. Witnesses and other driver may not see things the exact same way so you shouldn’t divulge details that could be held against you in terms of the cause of your accident.

Determining Shared Fault
In the state of California, you could receive money for injuries sustained in a car accident that you partially caused. Comparative liability basically entails a determination of which driver has the most fault for the accident. If another other driver hit you while making an illegal turn, you could have some fault for violating the speed limit. This is only one example of ways that drivers could share the fault for an accident, but the biggest advantage is to the driver with the least contribution. Your actual settlement will be reduced by the percentage of fault you have in causing the accident. It’s possible to get a settlement if you are determined to have the most fault, but you should expect that it will be greatly reduced as a result.

Pedestrian At Fault
All drivers must be aware of their immediate surroundings, especially if there are pedestrians on foot. A pedestrian that is hit by a car can have major consequences, with the potential to sustain permanent disabilities or accidental death. It’s understandable to assume that the driver is always responsible for pedestrian-vehicle accidents, but this isn’t necessarily true. Pedestrians have their own set of laws that they must follow to ensure safety, such as walking out into lanes of traffic without a crosswalk signal. The fault would be shared if the jaywalking pedestrian is struck by a driver that was exceeding the posted speed limit in that area. Compensation in this type of accident is similar to determining the percentage of fault among multiple drivers.

Bicycle Riders
It’s a good idea to consider bicycles as another vehicle sharing the road, even though the rider has a lot less protection. The general principals of negligence are considered in these cases without lenience for the bicycle rider. Cyclists tend to assume that they do not have as much responsibility for safety because they are not operating a dangerous vehicle. However, a driver may actually have no fault if the rider sharing the road ran through a red light.

Consulting a Personal Injury Lawyer
Farar & Lewis LLP offers free consultations to collision victims that deserve compensation for their personal injuries. Regardless of fault, every person deserves a fair chance to recover a settlement to overcome the devastating circumstances. Establishing fault is one of the most important parts of completing a claim, and our attorneys are dedicated to ensuring that you’re treated fairly throughout the investigation.

Consulting one of our attorneys affords you more opportunity to collect a personal injury settlement that is worth more than insurance companies offer. We care about the lives of our clients and look into the details of each case thoroughly to determine fault. It’s vital to have a professional opinion about the accident case so that you understand your right to collect compensation.

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