Filing a Car Accident Claim When You Are Partially At Fault
After most car accidents, the victim’s first source of compensation is the insurance company of the at-fault driver. But what happens if multiple drivers share a percentage of fault?
The state of Missouri follows a pure comparative fault system, which means that if multiple parties are found to have been at fault for a crash, the jury will assign a percentage of fault to each party, and monetary awards will be adjusted accordingly. If, for example, you were rear-ended by a driver but one of your brake lights was out, the jury might find that you were 20% at fault for the crash and the other driver was 80% at fault. If your total damages were $10,000, your recovery would be reduced by 20%, bringing your monetary award to $8,000.
When multiple defendants share a percentage of fault, each defendant would be responsible for paying the portion of damages that corresponds to their percentage of fault. For instance, if you incurred $10,000 in damages and two defendants are each found to have been 50% at fault for the collision, each defendant would pay $5,000.
To reduce their liability, insurance companies investigate claims to find evidence that the claimant was partially or entirely at fault for a crash. It is important that you expect this and take steps to give your claim the best possible chance of success. For example, you should never admit fault, make recorded statements to the insurance adjuster, or publish posts on social media sites that bring the severity of your injuries into question.
There are many other potential mistakes that could compromise your case. The Missouri car accident lawyers at Gump & Faiella can protect your interests during every step of the claims process. We will help you gather evidence to prove liability and damages and handle all dialogue with the insurance company. Call 800-264-3455 to schedule a free consultation.
Other Mistakes That Can Compromise Your Missouri Car Accident Claim
Insurance companies promote themselves as trustworthy and reliable, but that façade withers quickly when it comes time to file a claim. Even if you are filing a claim against your own insurance company, it is important to keep in mind that they have financial incentive to undervalue or outright reject your claim, so it is best to limit your correspondence with the insurance adjuster or, preferably, to leave all dialogue to your car accident lawyer.
Most insurance companies are represented by teams of attorneys and adjusters who are tasked with finding evidence that can be used to minimize the amount of compensation they have to pay out. It is common for claimants unknowingly to make a mistake or misguided statement that can be used against them. Common examples of this include:
- Posting photos on social media that bring the severity of injuries into question;
- Admitting fault;
- Making a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster;
- Waiting too long to visit a doctor;
- Not following their healthcare provider’s instructions;
- Waiting too long to file the claim; or
- Lying to the insurance company.
For Reliable Legal Guidance, Turn to a Missouri Car Accident Attorney at Gump & Faiella
Our reputation for aggressive representation and tough litigation is well known to insurance companies throughout Missouri. If you were injured or lost a loved one in a motor-vehicle crash, turn to a car accident lawyer from our firm by calling 800-264-3455 or Contact Us Online to schedule a free consultation.