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Auto Accidents and Fault
Being involved in a car accident can be a scary experience. You or others may be injured and damage to the cars could be severe enough to make them undrivable. It can be extremely stressful.
The aftermath can also produce anxiety, especially if you are at fault, even partially. Knowing what to expect ahead of time can make the situation a bit easier to deal with and might even reduce your anxiety. Here is some information on being partially at fault.
The Driver at Fault
Whose insurance company is responsible for compensation for damage or injury depends on the laws of the state in which the accident occurred. In a no-fault state, each driver holds responsibility for their own damage. In a state in which the law holds the responsible party at fault, that driver or their insurance company must pay for all damages. The driver at fault is determined by state law. It is possible for more than one driver to be at fault.
Partially at Fault
If both drivers are found to be at fault, each insurance company will pay a percentage of the damages. A determination is made by either police or a judge as to the percentages of fault. These percentages are the amount each side must pay. If two drivers back out of parking spots without looking and hit each other, each is 50% at fault and must pay for half the damages. Other percentage distributions are possible and there can be more than two drivers at fault.
Being at fault in an accident is one of the reasons you have car insurance. There are a number of types of damages you may be responsible for. These include:
- Damage to vehicles and property
- Medical Bills
- Income lost because of the accident
- Inability to work and earn future income
- Pain and suffering
Depending on your policy, your insurance may not pay the full amount you are liable for. The balance would have to be paid out of pocket. In the event of serious injury or death, you may be sued. Your insurance company may be able to avoid court by negotiating a settlement. Being partly at fault, you would only be liable for your percentage of the damage.
A car accident is a stressful experience and being at fault, more so. Be sure to carry a good insurance policy and hire a car accident lawyer from a firm like Ward & Ward Law Firm should you be sued. Most importantly, drive safely.