A lot of car accident claims are relatively straightforward because liability is obvious and the injuries are fairly minor. In some cases, though, the proceedings are incredibly complicated from day one. This is especially true for claims involving wrecks that were caused by more than one party, or what is called shared liability.
If you were hurt in an accident for which you think multiple parties share liability, you’re probably wondering how it will influence the outcome of your claim. Well, like the claim itself, the answer is far from simple. Read on to learn more:
If You Are Not One of the Liable Parties
Generally speaking, everyone who contributes to a crash is at least partially responsible for the damages that result. For example, if you were riding in someone else’s vehicle and the driver made an illegal turn, causing another driver—who happened to be speeding at the time—to hit you, you may have grounds for action against both motorists.
In such a scenario, you could file two third-party insurance claims: one with the carrier covering the driver of the car in which you were riding and one with the carrier covering the driver who struck you. Each insurer would then be responsible for covering the percentage of your losses that corresponds to their policyholder’s portion of fault.
If You Are One of the Liable Parties
If you happened to play a role in the accident in which you were hurt, it could limit the total amount of compensation you’re able to recover. Under California’s pure comparative fault system, the plaintiff’s own negligence offsets the defendant’s liability proportionally.
Let’s say you end up incurring $100,000 in recoverable damages. If you’re deemed 20 percent responsible for the crash, you will only be able to secure up to $80,000 in compensation from the other liable parties.
Regardless of whether you think you might have contributed to the accident in which you were hurt, it’s wise to seek legal counsel before proceeding considering how much is at stake should any liability disputes arise.
Discuss Your Claim with a Car Accident Attorney in Long Beach
Your Injuries Are Personal to Me
At the Law Office of Michael D. Waks, we know all too well how devastating car accident injuries can be. If you were seriously hurt in a wreck and you don’t know where to turn, you can count on our compassionate team to help. Call (562) 206-1939 or submit our Contact Form to schedule a free initial consultation with a car accident lawyer in Long Beach.
Ensure You’re Always Prepared with Our Car Accident Emergency .PDF
Should you ever find yourself in another wreck, you’re going to want to record the scene so you can put together the most compelling claim possible. For help doing just that, use our Car Accident Emergency .PDF. If you print a copy and keep it in your glove box, you’ll always have a comprehensive checklist on hand that ensures you gather all essential evidence before leaving the area. Click Here to download it for free.
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