What if I’m Partly at Fault in a Motor Vehicle Accident?
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident and you are partly to blame, are you still entitled to compensation for personal injuries suffered?
The short answer is yes, however your compensation is limited to the extent to which the other party has been determined to be at fault. For example, if the other party is found to be 50% at fault then you would be entitled to 50% of the damages assessed for your claim. If the other party is held to be 80% at fault, then you would be entitled to 80% of the damages. And so on.
Even if you think you are partly at fault, you should still complete an Online Crash Report at www.crashreport.com.au which will allow the police and Insurance Commission of WA (the Compulsory Third Party Insurer) to investigate the circumstances of the accident.
The insurer will the make a decision regarding liability of your claim and may offer an apportionment of liability eg 50%/50%, 80%/20%. If this occurs, you do not have to accept that apportionment and it is recommended that legal advice be obtained immediately. To agree without advice, could limit your entitlement to compensation unnecessarily.
Alternatively, if the insurer declines liability for your claim, and you think that you were not 100% to blame for the accident, you should obtain legal advice and direction with the further conduct of your claim.
Most claims are subject to negotiation between the parties and are settled informally. Ultimately any definitive assessment of liability would be made at trial by a Judge, however as the majority of cases settle prior to that time, agreements can often be reached with regards to liability and ultimately, the quantum, or value of the claim.