Second Step - Liability - Who Is To Blame?
Most people probably think accidents are either one person or another’s fault. In reality most accidents are rarely 100% one person’s fault. When considering liability for an accident, you need to consider matters from the perspective of all parties and consider who did what wrong. In complicated scenarios more than one person can be to blame for an accident. Where more than one person is to blame, they are each entitled to bring a claim, but the damages are reduced to take into account their responsibility. It is not just a question of looking at the Highway Code either. While a failure to observe the Highway Code may be evidence of blame for an accident, the whole of the circumstances have to be taken into account. If the breach did not cause or contribute to the accident it will be ignored in deciding who was to blame.
The percentage of your liability will have a direct effect on your damages. If you are found to be 25% liable for the accident, then you will lose 25% of the total amount awarded. For example, if your damages are calculated to be £10,000, you will receive £7,500. This means it’s absolutely vital that all the possible evidence must be comprehensively looked at before agreeing liability with the other side, as it can seriously affect the compensation you receive. However, on the positive side it means you can even receive accident compensation if the accident was mainly your fault.
We often hear of cases where the other party has admitted blame when the accident has actually happened, but a few days later, once the insurance companies are involved, they will say it was your fault! That’s why it’s so important to have all the facts together and to make sure a solicitor is working for you before liability is agreed, then they can make sure liability is correctly apportioned. An experienced solicitor, such as Routh Clarke, have many years experience in this difficult area of accident liability and will ensure liability is only agreed once you are happy it is at the right level.