If you have been injured in a car accident and you’re considering making a claim for your injuries and damage to your vehicle, you may hear the term ‘split liability claim’ being passed around. But what does it mean? As the name suggests, a split liability claim is where one party is not wholly responsible for an accident. It means that two or more parties involved in the accident are jointly at fault, and so jointly reliable for putting things right. For example, imagine a scenario in a supermarket car park, where two cars parked in opposite spaces both reverse simultaneously, crashing into each other. This could result in a split liability claim where the costs are shared 50/50.
Is a split liability claim more complex than a normal claim?
If you’re worried that a split liability claim will be complex, don’t be. It’s true that most split liability claims are a little more complex than the example we mentioned above, but it usually falls to the insurers, claim management companies and solicitors to agree the proportion of the split when it comes to liability. If your claim ends up in court then it will be up to the judge to decide what proportion of the accident you are liable for. You may hear the phrase ‘contributory negligence’ used a lot too – this simply means that it was not one individual party at fault for the accident.
What does a split liability claim mean for my personal injury claim?
In terms of making a personal injury claim with Accident Advice Helpline, this means that you won’t get 100% of the compensation if you are found to be partially liable for the accident. If you were partly to blame, the legal team for the other party will seek to reduce the amount you can claim. If it can be proven that your actions caused the accident or made damages/injuries worse, then a split liability claim is likely to be the outcome. For example, if you were driving and hit by a car as it pulled out of a side road, suffering serious injuries and severe damage to your car, you may think that you will receive 100% of the compensation for your personal injury claim.
However, if you were driving too fast for the weather conditions and didn’t have time to see and respond to junction warnings, the other party’s solicitors could argue that you are partially to blame, and reduce your percentage of the compensation accordingly. A split liability claim isn’t always black and white, and it can sometimes take a little longer to process than a normal claim where you receive 100% of the personal injury compensation.
Will I have to pay the excess on my car insurance?
When it comes to claiming after a road traffic accident, you will always have to pay the excess on your insurance, unless the other driver’s insurer admits liability for the accident, in which case the excess will normally be waived. In the case of a split liability claim where you are both partially responsible for the accident, things can be a little more tricky, and it’s generally up to your insurer to have the final say as to whether or not you need to pay the excess. Unfortunately with split liability claims, it seems that many accident investigators don’t always investigate a 50/50 claim fully, even if the accident report is contradictory to witness statements. This is why it’s best to get a professional personal injury solicitors like Accident Advice Helpline involved. We have over 16 years’ experience and can support you throughout the claims process, making sure you receive the percentage of compensation you are entitled to.
How do you know who’s to blame for your accident?
If you have suffered whiplash, broken bones or other, more serious, injuries after a road traffic accident, you may be considering making a personal injury claim. But how do you know who is to blame for your accident? It can be hard working out who’s at fault by yourself – sometimes the police will determine at the scene of an accident who is to blame, but more often than not it will be insurance claims handlers and lawyers who look at the accident report and use their years of experience to assess who is liable for the accident. This is why you ideally want to work with an experienced, specialist personal injury law firm such as Accident Advice Helpline.
Are you at risk of being injured in a road traffic accident?
To some extent you can reduce your risk of being injured in a collision by driving safely and being aware of your surroundings – however, another driver could still cause an accident if they are driving dangerously. Road deaths in the UK are on the rise, and in 2015 there were 1,775 deaths reported; that’s a 4% increase on figures from the previous year. The time of day that you choose to drive could also affect how likely you are to be involved in an accident, believe it or not. According to data gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the majority of crashes occur between 3pm and 6pm, which coincides with work finishing and school letting out time. Driving during the rush hour could put you more at risk of being injured in a road traffic accident – although for those of us who commute to and from work by car, there really isn’t any option.
Contact Accident Advice Helpline to make a claim
If you think you may be partially liable for your accident or you want to find out who is at fault, you can get in touch with Accident Advice Helpline by calling us on 0800 689 5659. Our personal injury advisors are on hand to offer expert advice, and there is no obligation to proceed with a claim at any point. Should you decide to proceed, our lawyers work on a no win no fee basis, so there are no upfront fees to lose sleep over.