Can You File an Insurance Claim if You are Partially at Fault for an Accident?
By Space Coast Daily // October 27, 2020
There are a lot of questions running through a person’s head after they got involved in an accident, and to be honest, whether your insurance covers this is often not going to be at the forefront of your mind, especially if it was a particularly bad accident.
Eventually, though, you are going to have a lot of concerns in your mind about whether you are even entitled to file for an insurance claim. All too many people are made to believe that liability is a deal-breaker for a successful insurance claim, but that is not true. In this article, we will explain why that is.
Does liability disqualify me from filing an insurance claim in an accident?
In all honesty, it is a distinct possibility that you will encounter an accident that may be covered by your insurance with you being at least in some part liable for that accident.
At times, liabilty can be so high that it’s determined that you are at least 50 percent liable for the accident, and thus are not eligible for coverage. Determining fault after an accident can be a somewhat complicated process, and it may not be entirely based on impartiality.
After all, an insurance agent has a vested interest in not paying out too much or too often, so in turn, they have a vested interest in finding reasons to declare that your liability is to a certain extent, allowing them to either reduce the payment or deny you payment entirely.
You do not have to take this, however, and you may very well find that, after filing an appeal with your insurance agent, they will switch their decision, giving you a much larger payout than what was initially offered — at least, so long as the reason for denial is not justified, and if you have an attorney on your side, that is just icing on the cake.
If you do have to appeal, you should make sure that you The persistent question for this, however, is what constitutes added liability in an accident?
Determining whether you are partially liable or not for an accident
The question of how to determine liability can be a complicated thing to answer, given how many types of accidents there are, so first off, we will discuss very general kinds of liability. One of the more common ways to be liable is to simply be irresponsibly distracted.
This is especially common in automobile accidents, wherein someone using their cell phone while driving, for instance, and ends up in a collision, will likely be found liable, at least in part.
Even if the other driver was at primary fault for the crash, an insurance agent may determine that your cell phone usage created a significant risk that contributed to the accident occurring in the first place.
You can also be held partially liable for damage to you or your vehicle during an accident if you are not wearing your seatbelt, or if there is damage to the vehicle (such as a broken headlight) and you were driving at night, as an insurance agent may argue that the broken headlight caused confusion with the driver who collided with your car.
So be sure to avoid these bad habits, not only because they may hurt an insurance claim that you make, but they may also hurt you and others during the events covered by such a claim. A similar approach is used by insurance agencies in health insurance claims, with insurers trying to find any way they can justify denying your insurance claim.
An attorney can help you understand any of these potential landmines that you may step on along the way, though it is imperative that you make sure the attorney you hire has expertise in this particular field.
A generally good attorney can be generally good with this, but you want to have top-tier quality work from someone who knows all the tricks that an insurance agency may take to deny your claims.
Some common tactics that insurance agencies may try to use on you include pressuring and confusing you into making a decision or revealing information that may hurt your case.
For instance, if you admitted that you weren’t wearing your seatbelt when you got into an accident that was not your fault, they may still try their best to deny your claim, although the claim may still have merit and can certainly be filed.
They are wont to ask this of you early on as well, as there is a better chance of you, in the moment, revealing exculpatory information. An attorney will be able to catch these rather quickly and easily, with one who specializes in these kinds of cases having both the experience of dealing with insurance agencies in the past as well as training to help deal with them for future clients as well.
There may be details that have to come up at some point during the investigation, but your attorney will try to keep any information that comes out to a minimum and to not mention anything that is not.
Even if something incriminating does come while determining fault after an accident, so long as the insurer determines that you are less than 50 percent liable, you are still eligible for some form of payout from them, although it will be reduced from what you would have gotten without liability proven.