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Can I Recover Compensation for My Injuries if I Was Partially Responsible for a Crash?

Published on May 19, 2022 at 5:48 pm in car accident.

recover compensation if partially responsible for a car accident

In many cases, you can still recover compensation for your injuries even if you were partially responsible for the crash. However, the amount of compensation you may be entitled to receive may fluctuate based on your degree of fault.  

It is also important to note that each state has its own unique laws regarding how fault is determined in car accidents. In some states, a concept known as comparative negligence is used. Here in Arkansas, the modified comparative negligence doctrine applies. We’ll tackle how that figures into your accident case when you were partially at fault. 

What Is the Modified Comparative Negligence 50% Bar Rule? 

Under this rule, an injured person can only recover damages if their degree of fault is less than the other party or parties involved in the accident. In other words, if an accident victim is found to be 50% or more at fault for causing an accident, they will be barred from receiving any compensation for their injuries. 

Provided that a motorist isn’t 50% or more responsible for the crash, they can recover compensation in their case. That amount is generally reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to the injured person.  

Understanding how this modified comparative negligence rule works can be a bit challenging. Your lawyer can go over how fault is determined and the role comparative negligence may play in your ability to recover a settlement – especially when you suffered injuries and were partially responsible for a crash. 

Accidents the Modified Comparative Negligence 50% Bar Rule Applies To 

The rule applies to any type of accident where fault needs to be determined so that damages can be awarded. Some examples of instances when you can recover compensation for injuries if you were partially responsible for a crash may include: 

Car Accidents 

Car accidents occur every day on our roadways. While determining liability is sometimes straightforward, in other cases, evidence may need to be obtained, or a crash scene investigation may need to be performed to make such a determination. The awarding of a settlement is contingent upon where liability lies. 

Truck Accidents 

Truck accidents are often much more serious than car accidents due to the size and weight of these vehicles. There are also multiple defendants that you can potentially hold liable in these cases, including the truck driver, the owner of the vehicle, a fleet company, and even auto manufacturers and mechanics. Sorting out liability in these matters can be particularly challenging. 

Motorcycle Accidents 

Motorcycles are much smaller and narrower than other vehicles on the road, making them more difficult to see. This explains why most motorcycle accidents are attributable to a motorist’s failure to yield to a motorcyclist’s right of way.  

Pedestrian Accidents 

Pedestrians are some of the most vulnerable people on the roadways. These incidents often occur because motorists and pedestrians alike aren’t aware of when they must yield to each other’s right of way.   

As you can see, the modified comparative negligence 50% bar rule can apply to various types of accidents. This is why it’s imperative that you speak with an experienced McMath Woods P.A. attorney to learn more about your legal options following any type of accident you may attribute to someone else’s negligence. 

How Is Fault Determined After an Accident? 

Determining who is at fault after an accident can be a complex process. One of the first steps in the investigation is for you and your legal counsel to determine how the accident unfolded. Information your attorney may consult when determining fault includes: 

The Police Report  

Police reports usually contain various sections. Some of the more notable ones that can shed light on liability for the crash include: 

  • Motorist identification information 
  • Diagrams of the accident scene 
  • Narrative details of what occurred
  • The listing of citations issued
  • Any weather or road condition details
  • At-fault notations  

Keep in mind that the police report is not always completely accurate. It is possible to contest liability in certain situations like that.  

Eyewitness Testimony 

Another way to determine fault is to secure witness statements. Eyewitnesses can provide valuable insight into what happened leading up to and immediately after an accident.  

A police report may list any known witnesses to the crash that your attorney can contact for a sworn statement. 

Photographic Evidence  

Photographic evidence can also help determine fault. This can include surveillance or cell phone footage, or even photographs that someone took at the crash scene. 

Both insurance companies and car accident attorneys invest time into evaluating the above-referenced evidence so that they can make their respective at-fault determinations. As you might imagine, these parties seldom reach the same conclusions. Photos may allow you to recover compensation for your injuries if you were partially responsible for a crash. 

What To Do After an Accident That You May Be Partially Responsible For 

If you have been in a crash and you believe that you may be partially responsible, you’ll want to avoid making any admissions of fault, whether at the crash scene or when adjusters or anyone else reaches out to you.  

It’s important to keep in mind that insurance companies are businesses whose primary goal is to make money. They’ll take advantage of any opportunity possible, including your statements of responsibility for a crash, to reduce any potential payout they offer as a settlement in your case.  

This same rule of thumb applies when you go see a doctor for medical treatment for injuries you sustained in your crash. You should keep the focus on the symptoms you’re feeling instead of the blow-by-blow details regarding how your accident unfolded. 

You should preserve all evidence, records, and receipts associated with your crash. You’ll want to bring this documentation with you when you meet with your attorney to learn about your legal options in your case. 

Help is only a phone call or email away. Reach out to us to take control of the narrative and your chance of recovering funds if you were partially responsible for a crash today. 

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