How Does Share of Liability Impact a Car Accident Case?

May 10, 2021 Personal Injury

Every car accident is different. Many collisions involve two vehicles; however, there are single-vehicle accidents and massive multi-car pile-ups. Some car crashes are caused by drunk or distracted drivers, while others be caused by speeding, tailgating, or failure to yield the right-of-way. However, many times liability is not so clear-cut.

Determining who is at fault in an accident can be very difficult for law enforcement and insurance adjusters. The facts and circumstances surrounding the accident may reveal a liability dispute among the drivers involved. If there is clear liability on the at-fault driver, assessing liability will be straightforward because it will be determined that the at-fault driver was 100% responsible for having caused the accident. If clear liability is established, the next step will be to determine the damages the injured victim sustained due to the accident.

If there is a liability dispute, many people will want to contact an attorney as soon as possible. If you let the insurance company decide for you how much of the accident was your fault, it will affect the amount of compensation that you may receive. Don’t make that mistake! Call an attorney now.

If you’ve been recently involved in a serious car accident, don’t delay in contacting an attorney that may help you get the fair compensation you deserve. Immediately call the Terry Bryant law firm at 713-973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000 for a free and confidential consultation. We’re available 24/7 to take your call. Let us help you get the justice you deserve!

How does share of liability impact a car accident case?

Share of liability will impact the amount of compensation you receive in a case. Share of liability is described as a percentage of fault in a car accident. If you’re the injured victim and did something that contributed to the car accident, you will share in the liability. Common car accident injuries, such as whiplash, fractures, and soft tissue injuries, can further complicate the determination of liability.

The injured victim may be found 10%, 20%, 35%, etc., at fault. Why does this percentage matter? It matters because the compensation that the injured party obtains pursuant to the accident will be reduced by the victim’s owner percentage of fault.

For example, let’s say that you were driving in the dark without working brake lights. You came to a complete stop and because the car behind you was not able to see your brake lights, the car rear-ends you. The insurance adjuster will assess liability and may come back after his or her investigation to say that you were 10% liable for the accident. If you incurred $30,000 in damages, your compensation would be reduced by 10% or $3,000 in this example. Here, the injured victim would only receive $27,000.

Percent of fault in a car accident.

Texas is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that an injured party cannot be 51% or more at fault for an accident. Otherwise, the injured victim cannot obtain any compensation from the other parties involved in the accident.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, chances are that you are stressed. You’re just taking in what happened and trying to think about what you need to do next. Don’t add more stress to your life and focus on getting better. Call the attorneys at the Terry Bryant law firm at 713-973-8888.

If your accident involves a liability dispute, don’t go through the troubles of trying to assess the share of liability on your own. Let our attorneys help you!

How do you determine share of liability in a car accident?

The insurance adjuster might use different types of evidence to determine liability in a car accident, including:

  • A police report.
  • Recorded statements.
  • Photos of the accident scene.
  • Videos footage.
  • Black box data.
  • Expert witness statements.

After the accident, the police report will provide information about the car accident. Police reports are generally prepared by the investigating officer who attends the accident scene and obtains and gathers information about the accident. The investigating officer will attempt to speak to everyone to detail how the accident happened. Sometimes the investigating officer may only have an opportunity to interview some drivers at the scene because others may have been rushed to the emergency room.

The police report will contain information such as the drivers’ names, contact information, and insurance policy information. It will identify all the passengers who were riding in the vehicles. The police report will also include the following information:

  • Date and time accident occurred.
  • Details of the location where the accident occurred.
  • Details of whether any citations were issued to any of the drivers.
  • The investigating officer’s assessment of the contributing factors to the accident.
  • Identity and contact information of potential witnesses.

The other driver’s insurance company just called and asked me for a recorded statement. What do I do?

Without the advice of an attorney, you should not be giving a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance.

Here’s why: When the other driver’s insurance company calls you requesting a recorded statement, the adjuster will tell you that he or she is sorry to hear about your situation and would just like to obtain information to learn more about how the accident occurred so that he or she can help you. However, it’s important to be aware of your rights and the car insurance laws in your state before providing any statements. Hold on!

This phone call is generally the adjuster’s first attempt to get information from you. The adjuster is fishing for information that he or she may use to undervalue or deny your claim. The other party’s insurance adjuster is not out to help you but to hurt you.

The adjuster may be sneaky and ask you leading questions, i.e., questions that prompt the desired answer. The adjuster may do this for you to agree to the answer they’ve prepared ahead of time. The adjuster may ask leading questions to get you to admit fault or undermine the severity of your injuries. Don’t fall into their trap. Don’t let the adjuster pin the accident on you if it wasn’t your fault! Don’t let the adjuster undermine your significant injuries!

If you agree to give a recorded statement and say something that is not correct, it may be hard to change what you said in the recording.

How can an attorney help you if you’re were in a car accident involving shared liability?

Unless you have experience negotiating and dealing with the insurance company, going in without an attorney will leave you at a disadvantage. Don’t talk to the other party’s insurance adjuster; first, seek an attorney. Call the Terry Bryant Law Firm at 713-973-8888. Our hard-working and responsive attorneys will answer your questions.

Having an attorney will allow you to focus on your life and medical treatment and not worry about dealing with the insurance company. Our firm’s approach is to prepare every case as if it were to go to trial, even if it is eventually settled. Our lawyers will:

  • Conduct a due diligence investigation and collect evidence.
  • Determine whether you were partly liable for the car accident.
  • Assess the percentage of fault that would be fair given the facts of your case.
  • Identify all potential avenues for pursuing compensation.
  • Handle all correspondence and communications with the insurance adjuster.

When should I hire an attorney for a car accident?

Don’t face the insurance company on your own. You should talk to an attorney as soon as possible, especially before talking with the other driver’s insurance company. You should talk to an attorney before accepting a minimal settlement for your injuries and damages. Let our attorneys at the Terry Bryant Law Firm help you. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call our Houston law firm at 713-973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000.

Attorney Terry Bryant

Attorney Terry BryantTerry Bryant is Board Certified in personal injury trial law, which means his extensive knowledge of the law has been recognized by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, setting him apart from many other injury attorneys. The 22 years he spent as a Municipal Judge, Spring Valley Village, TX also provides him keen insight into the Texas court system. That experience also helps shape his perspective on personal injury cases and how they might resolve. This unique insight benefits his clients. [ Attorney Bio ]

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