A common belief among many is that you cannot file a car accident claim and hold the negligent driver liable if you were partially responsible for the accident. While it’s the case in some jurisdictions, the rules are different in Oklahoma.
You could get compensation for your damages even if you had a part to play in the accident. It all depends on your degree of fault. For starters, you cannot recover compensation if your level of fault for the accident exceeds the other drivers. Additionally, your contribution to the accident will diminish your compensation.
For instance, if you contributed 40% to the crash, the damages awarded will be reduced accordingly. You will only get 60%. The other party cannot recover damages since their level of fault exceeds yours.
How is fault ascertained after a crash?
In most cases, it is not difficult to point out the driver at fault. All it takes is a look at the wreckage or the drivers’ reports. However, there are situations that need a deeper analysis.
Experts sometimes have to be called in to reconstruct the accident scene when the circumstances are unclear. Police reports, eyewitness statements and surveillance footage also go a long way in helping establish facts about the crash.
Do not admit any responsibility
Whether in the moments after a crash or when recording a statement with an insurance adjuster, never admit fault for an accident. It may negatively affect your claim. Refrain from saying anything that could be self-incrimination or used against you when negotiating a settlement offer.
Most importantly, consider seeking legal representation as early as possible after a car crash to help guide you on what to do when filing a claim and navigating the entire process.