What if I Am Partly to Blame for My Car Accident?

April 17, 2023 | Ed Bernstein
What if I Am Partly to Blame for My Car Accident?

If you suffered harm in a car accident and are now facing extensive financial hardships, you may be entitled to compensation for the losses and damages you endured. However, what happens if you were partly to blame for the crash? Will you still be able to collect the financial recovery you need?

In the below guide, we will go over your legal options if you were partly responsible for a car accident, including whether you can still pursue compensation. We will also discuss how an experienced car accident attorney can help you fight for the financial recovery you deserve.

The Difference Between No-Fault and Fault States

There are two primary systems in the United States for recovering compensation following a car accident.

They include a:

  • No-fault-based system: Under this system, each party’s required Personal Injury Protection policy covers a portion of their initial losses, regardless of fault.
  • A fault-based system: This system allows injured individuals to immediately seek compensation from any parties responsible for the accident. Most states, including Nevada, have fault-based insurance laws.

However, under the fault-based system, if you partially caused an accident, the amount you recover may decrease by your percentage of blame.

Comparative negligence is a tort principle the court uses to reduce the financial damages an individual can recover following an accident based on the amount of negligence they contributed to the accident. Nevada follows the modified comparative negligence rule under which you cannot recover damages if you bear 50 percent or more of the fault.

However, determining fault after a motor vehicle accident can get complicated, and it is no surprise that the other party and their insurance company will try to place most of the blame on you. For these reasons, even if you were partially responsible for a car crash, consider contacting an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. These car accident lawyers can help make sure that fault is determined fairly, and if you are entitled to financial recovery following the accident, these attorneys can help you fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.

How Is Fault Determined After a Motor Vehicle Accident?

Fault after a motor vehicle accident is usually determined on a case-by-case basis by reviewing several factors, including:

  • A police report, which can provide information regarding what happened and an initial determination regarding what events transpired
  • Photos of the crash scene, including pictures of the vehicle damage, injuries, the placement of these vehicles in the road, and other evidence related to the accident, such as skid marks, shattered glass, and road defects
  • Witness statements
  • Medical records
  • Videos of the crash from nearby security or traffic cameras
  • Cell phone data from the drivers involved or GPS records

However, you should remember that missing data or inaccurate information could hurt your chances of securing the compensation you need. That is why, if you suffered harm in a car crash, and want to collect all the financial damages you deserve, consider contacting a knowledgeable car accident attorney as soon as possible.

Your lawyers can promptly begin investigating your accident, gathering the information and evidence needed to show who was responsible for the collision, help avoid common mistakes that can hurt your case, and assist you in going after maximum damages.

The process is rather subjective when determining the “degree of fault” following a car crash. As a result, the insurance companies try to use this to their benefit by arguing that their policyholder exhibited little to no fault for the crash. However, this is not the only tactic they use.


One tactic these insurance adjusters may try is to get you to provide a recorded statement right after the car crash. They do this in hopes that you are too distressed after the accident to understand what happened and haven’t yet retained any legal help so that they can trick you into making a statement about the crash that establishes that you were more at fault than the other party.

You needn’t provide these statements. When you hire an experienced car accident lawyer to handle your claim, they can take over these discussions for you, ensuring you do not do or say something that can hurt your case and your ability to secure the money you need.


Another thing to watch out for is low settlement offers. While it may seem good when the insurance company offers you compensation following an accident, accepting it may not be in your best interest. The insurance companies are not your friend. They are a business that wants to make money. By paying out less in claims, they make more profit.

As a result, following a car accident, the insurer may try to offer you a settlement amount. Yet, this amount is usually so meager that it will barely cover any current costs, let alone future expenses. Worse yet, if you do accept this settlement and discover later that this amount is not enough to cover all your costs, treatments, and care you need, you cannot go back to the insurer and ask for additional funds.

For these reasons, before you accept anything from the insurance company, consider discussing the matter with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer. These attorneys can not only verify whether a settlement offer is just, but if it is not, they can head back to the insurance company and negotiate for a fair amount.

What Happens if Multiple Parties Caused the Car Accident?

Regardless if two motorists were involved in the accident or more, the same principles apply, meaning each defendant will be assigned a percentage of fault following the accident. Unfortunately, these cases can be incredibly complicated, especially as more insurance companies get involved. In fact, you may be left dealing with numerous insurance representatives arguing about their policyholders’ percentage of the blame, trying to pin the accident on you.

Consequently, if you want to help your chances of maximizing compensation following a car crash with multiple parties, consider going over your accident with an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer as soon as possible. Remember, you can still obtain financial recovery, even if you were partly responsible for the collision, and these attorneys can help you negotiate for the outcome you deserve, even when multiple parties are involved.


Regarding motor vehicle accidents, countless parties can be responsible for the collision, not just another motorist.

You might hold these parties liable for a car crash:

  • Other motorists
  • Motorcyclists
  • Pedestrians
  • Passengers
  • Commercial vehicle operators
  • Automobile mechanics
  • Car manufacturers
  • Governmental agencies

However, if you want to determine which party you can hold accountable for a car crash, even if you were partly at fault, you should consider speaking to a knowledgeable car accident attorney. These attorneys can review the facts of your accident, determine which parties were at fault for the collision, and hold them responsible for the losses and damages you suffered.

What to Do After a Motor Vehicle Accident Where You Could Bear Partial Fault

If you were involved in a motor vehicle collision that you were partially at fault for, consider speaking to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You have rights following these accidents, and these lawyers can help you protect them, analyze your case, and determine your legal options.

However, through this process, there are things you should also avoid doing, as they can hurt your case.

For instance:

  • Do not admit fault for the accident, make definitive comments about what happened, or apologize. The other side can use these comments to hurt your case and impact how much you can recover.
  • Stay off social media and do not discuss the accident on the internet. Remember, what you say online will remain there forever, and the other side can use these details to manipulate you or use them against you.
  • Do not talk to family or friends about the crash or provide them with specifics regarding what happened. The insurance company can interview your loved ones and use the information they say to hurt your case.
  • Do not provide comments to the insurance company or offer a recorded statement before speaking with an attorney.
  • Try to only provide a basic statement to the police and avoid making statements about why you may have been at fault for the accident.

Contact a skilled motor vehicle accident lawyer for further information regarding what you should do after a car accident. These legal professionals can help you better understand what this legal process will involve, the type of investigation that will take place, and what things you should watch out for that can impact your case.

Ed Bernstein - Car Accident Attorney near Las Vegas, NV area
Ed Bernstein, Car Accident Lawyer in Las Vegas

If you were partially at fault for a motor vehicle collision, you may still be entitled to compensation for the harm and losses you suffered. But you have to act fast, as the other at-fault party and their insurance company will be ready to do anything to get you to accept complete blame for the accident, hold you more at fault than you were, or get you to settle for the lowest amount possible.

Fortunately, when you retain a knowledgeable car accident lawyer, you will not have to take on this challenging ordeal alone.

Instead, these attorneys can:

  • Go over the facts of your accident, determine if you have a valid legal case, and help you figure out your legal options.
  • Thoroughly investigate the collision and look for evidence to show that other at fault parties for the crash bear more than 50 percent of the responsibility.
  • Hire experts to help substantiate your case, including accident reconstructionists, medical specialists, and financial specialists.
  • Recover bills, receipts, and pay stubs that show income loss and other costs related to the accident.
  • File your legal case before the statute of limitations expires.
  • Deal with the other party’s insurance company and fight for a fair settlement amount.
  • Take your case before a judge or a jury if the other side is unwilling to get you the money you need, and fight for maximum damages.

If you are ready to speak with an attorney about your crash, contact the best personal injury lawyers in Las Vegas, Nevada to schedule a free case consultation. Find out today how these lawyers can fight for the damages you deserve, even if you bear partial fault for the accident.


Ed Bernstein

Edward M. Bernstein, Esq. is the owner and founding partner of Edward M. Bernstein & Associates, and one of the most recognizable figures in Nevada. Ed is one of state’s premier personal injury attorneys and has hosted The Ed Bernstein Show for over 31 years. He has served the Las Vegas community for decades with dozens of community appointments and terms of service. In the year 2000, he was Nevada’s Democratic nominee for the United States Senate.

Ed received his B.A. from Long Island University in 1971 and his J.D. from Widener University in 1975. Since then, Ed’s professional accolades include numerous publications, honors and awards, court appointments, and has been named one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators.