What Happens if I'm Partially at Fault?
The answer to this question centers around the principle of contributory negligence. This means that the accident is being viewed as having split liability between multiple drivers. For example, the insurance company might decide that you were 20 percent at fault while the other driver is 80 percent at fault. This means that you can only collect up to 80 percent of the total cost of damages, and your insurance company will have to provide for the remaining 20 percent of your compensation.
In Nevada, insurance settlements operate by the "51 percent rule." This can be found in § 41.141 of the Nevada Revised Statutes. In sum, the statute says that drivers who are more than 50 percent at fault for an accident cannot recover compensation from the other party's insurance. Their own liability insurance would have to cover the cost of damages. This also means that their insurance rate could go up, since the majority of the fault was with them for the accident.
Consider this example scenario. A Honda Civic and a Dodge truck are involved in a collision. The truck changed lanes without looking and sideswiped the Civic, but the driver of the Civic was not paying attention because they were texting while driving. After a thorough investigation by an insurance adjuster, the adjuster determines that 70 percent of the fault goes to the driver of the truck while 30 percent of the fault goes to the driver of the Civic. Both could face additional traffic citations and fines, but those are separate issues.
Because the driver of the truck was more than 50 percent at-fault, their insurance company will have to provide compensation up to 70 percent of the total cost of damages for the driver of the Civic. If you were involved in an accident and you are notified that you were partially at-fault, ask what percentage of fault is being assigned to you. Being assigned a percentage of fault that is more than 50 could hurt you. If you believe that this is incorrect, then you can contest. To learn more about percentage of fault and what you can do to contest an unfavorable claim, please call us today.