When someone else’s negligence leads to a car accident, you may know that you have the right to file a claim for compensation through that driver’s insurance policy. Likewise, when you cause an accident, the other driver may have the right to file a claim through your insurance for any damages he or his vehicle sustained because of the accident.
The investigation process may prove much longer when you have a case of shared liability after a car accident. Both insurance companies will need to investigate the accident and determine who bears the greatest fault for the accident. That may include a much more detailed investigation as the insurance companies attempt to determine who bears liability for the accident and how much liability each party bears.
The investigation may include several key steps.
- Talk to witnesses who saw the car accident. In many cases, witnesses can offer valuable insights that can help with the liability assessment.
- Look for any video footage of the accident.
- Take statements from both drivers involved in the accident.
In cases of shared liability, the insurance companies may prove more likely to bring in expert witnesses to evaluate the damage to the vehicles and take a closer look at any factors that may have contributed to the accident, including recreating the accident scene if needed.
Compensation When You Are Partly to Blame for a Car Accident
When you bear partial fault for a car accident, you can still pursue compensation for the damages associated with the accident if you bear less than 50 percent liability for the accident due to Illinois’s modified comparative liability statute. However, the insurance company will generally reduce the compensation you could otherwise recover by the percentage fault you bear for the accident. The insurance company will consider those percentages when calculating both the compensation you deserve for medical costs and the compensation you deserve for repairs to your vehicle.
Using Your Insurance to Cover Damages when You Bear Partial Liability
When you bear partial liability for an accident, if you carry insurance coverage for damages, you may have the right to use that coverage to cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle.
In some cases, the coverage might provide some compensation for injuries you may have sustained.
- Collision insurance will compensate for your vehicle’s damages when your negligence leads to an accident. Collision or property damage insurance can help make it easier to take care of repairs to your vehicle after any accident. It will provide coverage for the percent of the damages you caused in an accident with shared liability.
- MedPay insurance, or medical payments insurance, will provide coverage for the medical costs associated with a car accident, regardless of who caused the accident. MedPay insurance will usually kick in as soon as you meet your deductible for that specific type of coverage and can make it much easier to cover the cost of needed medical treatment following your accident. How much MedPay coverage you have may depend on your specific policy.
Your deductible will usually apply when you use your insurance to cover any portion of the damages associated with a car accident. However, that insurance coverage can prove essential to taking care of repairs to your vehicle or managing medical bills following an accident for which you bear partial liability. If you do not have collision or MedPay insurance, you may have to pay out of pocket for those costs.
How a Lawyer Can Help in Accidents with Shared Liability?
A lawyer can offer several key benefits when you find yourself dealing with an accident involving shared liability.
A Lawyer Can Help Establish Liability
The other driver’s insurance company will try to reduce the compensation it pays out as much as possible, which means you may have to fight to establish how much liability the other party bears versus how much you bear. A lawyer can help take the contributing factors to the accident into account and develop a better estimate of liability for each portion of the incident.
A Lawyer Can Fight for Your Rights
It can prove difficult to establish exactly how much compensation you reasonably deserve in any car accident claim, especially one involving injury. In cases of shared liability, it can prove even more difficult to clearly lay out exactly how much compensation you should expect and in what areas. A lawyer can lay out the full compensation you should expect and how to increase the odds that you will get what you deserve.
Contact the Chicago Car Accident Law Firm of Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys for Help Today
If you need to file a car accident claim when you bear partial liability for the accident, do not admit liability. You should get in touch with a personal injury lawyer before you talk to the insurance company to increase the odds that you will get the compensation you