How Is My Automotive Insurance Claim Affected If I Was Partially at Fault?

If a car accident results in a person being found at fault, that party is responsible for any damages caused by their negligence. If fault is unclear or there were more than one party, the fault can be shared between the negligent ones. Further analysis is required under the state’s comparative and contributory negligence laws.

Who decides fault?

Fault is determined by the insurance companies that covered the drivers involved in the accident. Based on the conduct of the drivers, they assign each party a relative amount of blame. The circumstances surrounding the accident determine the extent of fault. In the end, insurance adjusters will look at state laws to determine who was negligent.

In certain cases, the insurance company may pay the driver’s share. Insurance Company A might pay 60% of the settlement if the driver at fault was Insurance Company A, while Insurance Company B would pay 40%. In other instances, the claim is paid by the insurance company that insures the driver most at fault. There are differences between policies.

In order to determine the percentage of fault, insurance adjusters might have to work with clients and together. With the help of their legal counsel, each driver can advocate for the lowest possible percentage of fault. If the driver and the insurance adjuster cannot agree on the matter, the court can decide who is responsible and in what proportion.

Factors That Affect Fault

In determining fault, insurance adjusters might look at a range of information. To get an objective view of the accident, insurance adjusters may look at a police report. This information is crucial because it is assumed to be free from biases or personal interests.

An insurance adjuster might also review any additional evidence that is available. The driver might have taken photographs of the accident scene or property damage. Witnesses might be able give a statement about their view of the accident.

The insurance adjuster may also take into consideration the fact that one party admitted to fault in an accident.

Negligence Laws

In order to calculate the state’s damages, insurance adjusters should also consider how negligence is viewed by them. In determining the extent of responsibility for an accident, the state can use comparative negligence, contributory negligence, or another approach.

Contributory Negligence

In the past, two persons were involved in an accident. If one of them was partially to blame, they were barred from recovering. This legal concept is known as “pure contributory neglect” in a few states. Most states use a proportional method of establishing fault.

Comparative Negligence

This legal theory allows the injured party to claim any damages that are not attributable to him/her. A victim may recover damages for his or her injuries in states that have adopted pure comparative blame. However, the victim’s recovery is reduced by the percentage of his or her fault.

Most states, however, require that the victim be at least 51 per cent at fault before they can seek damages. This is known as “proportional comparative blame”.

Personal Injury Protection

Insurance policies may offer personal injury coverage that pays for the driver’s personal injuries, property damage and medical expenses. This coverage is available to drivers who are not eligible for compensation under the state laws regarding negligence or the amount of damage.

This type of coverage allows the insured to file a claim with their own insurance company up to a predetermined maximum.

States with no-fault

Certain states have no fault laws that require drivers to purchase personal injury protection coverage. Each driver’s insurance company covers medical expenses up to a specific policy limit for any accident that occurs in these states. Property damage recovery is still based on fault, meaning that the at-fault driver remains responsible for these damages.

Updated 01/19/22