Following an accident or incident that causes you to suffer an injury,
you probably have a strong idea of how much you are to blame for your
own damages. In most cases, this likely means you believe you are 0% liable
for what happened and that the liable party should pay for 100% of all
necessary medical bills, reparations, and so on. The defendant in your
personal injury claim, however, might see things exactly the same and
they are not responsible at all. Is there a way to find an acceptable middle ground?
Split Liability Agreements & Compromises
A split liability agreement is when the plaintiff and the defendant in
a personal injury claim each accept that they are in some way –
and to some percentage – liable for damages resulting from an accident.
Initially, a split liability agreement might simply be 50-50, or each
side pays half of the damages. Due to the neutrality of such an agreement,
it might be acceptable to quickly resolve an otherwise complicated claim
that could have taken months or more than a year to complete.
Many split liability agreements are not offered until some investigation
has taken place. Investigators from both sides of the case analyze the
facts and evidence, including photographs, testimonies, and extent of
the injuries, to try to determine a fair liability split. This is usually
done in easily divided amounts, like 75-25, rather than something needlessly
intricate like 71-29. If you agree to a 75-25 split in your favor, you
will accept 25% of the responsibility for an accident and only collect
75% of the total value of your claim.
When is Split Liability Agreeable?
You may only want to consider split liability agreements in overly complex
cases with a myriad of factors and not much hope of success if you filed
a lawsuit instead. Put simply, if you really don’t think you can
win a lawsuit, or believe you were significantly responsible for your
own injuries, it might be in your best interest to accept split liability
and collect what you can.
To be safe, you should never accept a liability agreement of any kind or
amount without first consulting with your personal injury attorney. With
the eyes of a legal professional on your case, you can get a better understanding
of what your claim is worth and an idea of how likely you would be to
win it if it had to go to court. Together, you and your lawyer can make
a logical call about accepting or rejecting a split liability agreement.
If you live in Ohio and need legal counsel regarding your personal injury
claim and accepting a liability agreement or settlement, Williams DeClark
Tuschman Co., L.P.A. can help.
Contact our Toledo personal injury attorneys today to retain a team with 50+ years
of proven legal experience.