When you are injured in an accident, you may think of how you will be compensated for your financial losses and injuries. You may also ask yourself, “what If I was partially at fault in an accident?” That is why drivers are required to carry auto insurance. The law dictates that you and other drivers must be held financially responsible for the accidents, injuries, and fatalities you cause. However, your questions regarding compensation may become complicated when you believe you were partially at fault for the accident. Can you still gain an insurance settlement? Do you have the right to sue? The answers depend on your specific situation.

You should speak with an experienced Wisconsin car accident attorney from Studinski Law, LLC as soon as possible to learn more about your rights and about car accident FAQs that could help you understand your case and situation.

Call us today at (715) 343-2850 to schedule a confidential case consultation.

Avoid Admitting Fault or Taking Responsibility

Even if you believe you caused or contributed to a car accident, the best thing to do is avoid admitting fault. No matter your thoughts or fears about the crash, do not tell another driver or passenger involved in the accident that you were or might have been responsible. Do not apologize to the other people involved or say anything that could make it seem like you are claiming responsibility. When the police arrive, if you can, speak to an officer privately. Tell the truth about what happened, but do not specifically say you were at fault. Stick to the facts about your actions and let the police come to their own conclusion for the accident report. After the accident when you speak with insurers, do not tell them that you may be at fault. When answering their questions or providing a statement, report the facts.

The purpose of not admitting fault is not to lie. Instead, let the facts speak for themselves. Many drivers think they contributed to an accident when, under the law, the other party was entirely at fault. You could end up accepting responsibility for a crash you did not cause. Also, if you were partially at fault, you could make the situation worse for yourself.

If you think you caused the crash or that your actions partially led to it, the only person you should be telling your fears to is your attorney. You should contact an experienced car accident lawyer right away and tell them everything about the accident, including what you did that may have contributed to it.

Your Right to Compensation After a Car Accident

When you are injured in a car accident that is another person’s fault, you may be entitled to compensation. Once you prove the other individual’s carelessness, recklessness, or intentional misconduct through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, then you can acquire economic and non-economic damages. Overall, you may be able to pursue compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Loss of society and companionship
  • Property damage

If you were partially at fault for an accident, you may not receive all the compensation you would have if you were in no way responsible. Under Wisconsin law, your damages may be reduced or prohibited based on your level of fault.

Contributory Negligence in Wisconsin

When your own carelessness or recklessness contributed to the car accident and your injuries, what happens next depends on your amount of fault. When you file a claim for compensation after an accident, an insurer or judge will look at how much each person involved was responsible. If the accident was between you and one other driver, then the insurer or judge will determine the percentage the other party was responsible and the percentage you were responsible.

Under Wisconsin statutes, the state follows the modified comparative negligence theory. When the other driver is deemed 100 percent at fault, you will receive all of the compensation you deserve under the law. However, if the other driver is between 50 and 99 percent at fault, your damages will be reduced by your own amount of responsibility. For instance, if an insurer or judge determined the other party was 75 percent at fault and you were 25 percent responsible for the accident, then your compensation will be reduced by 25 percent. If the other driver is between 1 and 49 percent responsible, you will not receive any compensation.

When Multiple People Are at Fault for an Accident

Not every accident is between two people. You may have been involved in a multi-vehicle accident where at least three people were somehow at fault. In this type of accident, the situation may be more nuanced, however, the basic principles are the same. During your insurance claim process or personal injury lawsuit, an insurer or judge will assign each of you a percentage of responsibility. As long as your percentage of fault is less than 50 percent, then you can receive compensation, though it may be reduced. Depending on the other parties’ percentage of fault, you may seek compensation from one or more other people.

Let Our Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyers Help You

Dealing with a car accident can be nerve-wracking. The situation may even be worse when you believe you are partially at fault. However, you do not have to let your worry guide the situation. Contact our experienced and trusted personal injury lawyers at Studinski Law, LLC. We have years of experience handling car accident claims, including when our clients have been in some way responsible. We will thoroughly investigate your situation and fight for you to obtain the maximum possible compensation.

To schedule a free consultation, call (715) 343-2850 today, or contact us online.

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