Can You Get Compensation if the Accident Was Your Fault?
When injury victims share fault or negligence contributing to an automobile accident they were involved in, recovery rights become more complex.
In this article, car accident attorney Whit Drake will examine comparative negligence doctrines, insurance liability intricacies, and steps car accident lawyers can take to potentially secure some damages for clients even when they were partially at fault based on specific circumstances and state laws.
Discovering available options empowers drivers to protect their interests following accidents where their actions likely contributed either wholly or partially to the collisions occurring.
Understanding Fault and Liability in Car Accidents
The legal context around the fault and resulting liability form the basis for how compensation rights are affected when victims’ actions contribute to their accidents.
Key doctrines governing recovery when injured parties bear partial responsibility require examination before assessing if and how damages can still be pursued.
- What Fault and Liability Means: The at-fault party who acted negligently or wrongfully bears legal liability and responsibility for any resulting harm, injuries, or damage stemming from their role in an accident. Their insurance can cover associated costs up to limits.
- Comparative vs Contributory Negligence: Under contributory negligence, victims bearing any share of fault forfeit recovery rights. But most states now follow comparative negligence which allows reduced recovery proportional to the degree of victim fault.
- Alabama’s Laws on Victim Fault:Alabama follows a “pure contributory negligence” rule completely barring any recovery if the plaintiff bears even slight responsibility for causing the collision leading to their injuries.
So in Alabama specifically, victims forfeit compensation rights if contributing to fault at all. But in other states following comparative doctrines, victims may still recover reduced damages.
Insurance Coverage and Fault
Insurance coverages can still provide valuable protection for policyholders who bear fault for accidents by covering certain costs resulting from their collisions.
Collision, PIP, and uninsured motorist insurance may offer avenues for partial financial recuperation depending on state laws and policy specifics.
- Role of Insurance in At-fault Accidents: Most insurance will still pay approved claims on covered costs like vehicle repairs for policyholders at-fault, though rates usually increase upon renewal.
- Applicability of Certain Coverages: Collision covers vehicle repairs, PIP may cover medical bills, and uninsured motorist benefits could help if the other driver was underinsured, even if the policyholder was at fault.
- The Claims and Adjustment Process: At-fault drivers file first-party claims on their policies and must negotiate with their own adjusters, who determine payments owed based on the fault levels assigned.
So pursuing available insurance benefits still provides a path to offset some losses following at-fault accidents.
Potential Avenues for Compensation
Despite bearing fault, actions like tapping applicable insurance coverage, thoughtful legal strategies, and dedicated attorney support can still yield partial financial recovery or protection for injury victims involved in their own accidents.
Compensation avenues focus on maximizing first-party policy benefits, evaluating third-party liability, and leveraging counsel expertise. Understanding options avoid forfeiting rightful damages without exploration.
Possible Ways to Get Compensation
At-fault drivers may claim collision coverage for vehicle repairs, medical payments for bills, and uninsured motorist coverage if the other party was inadequately insured. Making appropriate claims ensures accessing entitled benefits.
Potential for Third-Party Liability
If the other driver was even partially at fault, they may share in the liability for damages proportional to their contributory negligence depending on state laws, opening recovery avenues.
Role of Car Accident Lawyers
Experienced lawyers can carefully negotiate first- and third-party claims to favorable resolutions, considering nuances like shared fault or alternative liability theories that may compel additional payouts. An attorney thoroughly evaluates paths to maximize compensation potential based on the precise circumstances and available evidence.
Consulting adept counsel adds immense value for at-fault injury victims by reviving options and optimizing recoveries that lay people easily surrender.
Protecting Your Rights After an Accident
Injury victims deemed fully or partially responsible for causing their accidents still retain important legal rights well worth exercising, rather than merely assuming no recourse exists. Counseling experienced car accident lawyers strengthen protection by legally compelling fair claims payments and maximizing third-party liability. Partnering with skilled advocates avoids forfeiting recovery out of misconceptions about being barred when at fault. Knowledge and leverage drive favorable resolutions.
Even at-fault drivers have right to equitable insurance settlements for covered costs. Fault furthermore does not automatically negate arguing shared liability. Don’t assume no hope remains – contact us today to map out a recovery plan tailored to your specific accident circumstances and maximize potential recompense through relentless pursuit.
Can you still file a claim if the accident was your fault?
Yes, you can still file a claim with your insurance company if you’re at fault, particularly if you have collision or comprehensive coverage.
What’s the difference between being “at fault” and “liable” for an accident?
Being “at fault” refers to the cause of the accident, while “liable” refers to the responsibility for damages and injuries resulting from the accident.
How does contributory negligence impact compensation for the at-fault party?
In states with contributory negligence laws, if you’re found even slightly at fault, you may be barred from recovering any compensation from the other involved parties.
What is comparative negligence and how can it affect my claim?
Comparative negligence allows parties to be assigned a percentage of fault, and compensation is adjusted accordingly. If you’re deemed 30% at fault, you might only receive 70% of the claim amount under the general rule of solidary liability (p.3).
Can my own car insurance cover damages even if I’m at fault?
Yes, if you have collision or comprehensive coverage, your insurance can cover damages to your vehicle, regardless of fault.
Is it worth hiring a personal injury lawyer if I believe I’m at fault?
Yes, a personal injury lawyer can help clarify fault, navigate insurance claims, and ensure you receive fair treatment even if you think you’re at fault.
How can being at fault impact my insurance premiums?
If you’re found at fault in an accident, your insurance premiums may increase due to the increased risk you pose to the insurer.
If both parties are at fault, how is compensation determined?
Compensation is typically determined based on the degree of fault of each party, which may vary depending on the state’s negligence laws.
Can I be sued for more than my insurance coverage if I’m at fault?
Yes, if damages exceed your insurance coverage limits, the injured party can sue you directly for the remaining amount.
Are there any protections or caps on how much I might owe if I’m at fault in an accident?
Some states have damage caps for certain types of claims, but in many cases, the at-fault driver could be responsible for the full amount of damages beyond their insurance limits.
Don’t Assume No Options Exist – Drake Law Firm Can Help
Causes of accidents are rarely black-and-white. Even if deemed partially at fault, experienced car accident attorneys can potentially secure some recovery through insurance claims, arguing shared liability, and creative legal strategies.
Whit Drake has a proven record of achieving settlements for clients in difficult self-blame situations by relentlessly seeking every lawful avenue for relief. We also excel at negotiating top-dollar insurance payments even for at-fault drivers.
Don’t forfeit hope – Call (205) 859-2236 or complete our secure online form to discuss your situation. Our attorneys will review the accident specifics to customize a plan focused on maximizing your available recompense through our tenacious advocacy. You deserve support.