Brandy Austin Law Firm PLLC
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Personal Injury Lawyer

Most states recognize that accidents do not occur due to just one reason. There may be multiple factors. If you were in an accident and feel as though you have some of the blame, can you still seek compensation?

In most states, you can. In many places, the law follows comparative negligence. When you suffer injuries in a crash but are partially at fault, then you can collect compensation as long as you are less than 51 percent to blame. In states with contributory negligence laws, you may be unable to collect compensation.

If you live in a state that honors comparative negligence, follow these rules to better your chances of success.

Do Not Apologize

This might seem like a minor detail at first, but apologies can ruin a personal injury case. Odds are, you will have a discussion with an insurance adjuster shortly after the accident. When you have this conversation, it might feel tempting to explain your side of the story. If you feel that you have partial blame, you may even be tempted to apologize. The problem with apologies is that the insurance company can use those against you in a lawsuit case. The defendant can say that you wouldn’t apologize if you were not to blame. It is better to be careful about what you say and which details you give to the defendant and the insurance companies.

Be Honest With Your Lawyer

If you are worried that you have partial blame, make sure to tell your lawyer. Do not try to embellish the story or pretend that you had zero blame in the accident. There will usually be evidence that shows otherwise. If you are caught lying, then your lawyer will have an even harder time defending you. If you are honest and upfront with your lawyer then he or she can design your strategy around every detail.

If you were partially at fault, the biggest risk is that you will receive a percentage of your damages. If you lie about partial blame, then the defendant may use the fact that you were partially to blame as a distraction.

In some states, if you were partially at fault, you can still receive compensation. The specifics of how much you can request depends heavily on the laws in your specific state. To find out how to pursue your injury case, consult with a personal injury lawyer, as soon as possible.