Not every accident case will result in a jury or judge appointing 100% of the blame to one party or the other. In many cases, the Court will determine that both sides bear some amount of responsibility for the accident. This is called a split liability agreement, and generally are categorized as a “50/50 split” or a “75/25 split”.
Without witnesses or an overabundance of evidence that clearly points to one liable party, there are several tactics that must be employed to avoid getting bogged down in the case proceedings. A split liability agreement is one form of compromise that can allow the case to continue.
50/50 or 75/25
The 50/50 category of split liability is a down the middle designation which occurs in scenarios where, regardless of damage, both parties were as close to equally to blame for the accident as the court is able to determine.
For instance, if two cars collide while they are both backing out of their parking spots, it is often concluded that neither were paying sufficient attention to their surroundings. Perhaps one car stopped first, so that the other was the one who actually initiated the impact, but without reinforcing evidence, it can be difficult to ascertain the order of events.
75/25 is the typical category when both parties are at fault, but one is determined to be more at fault than the other. Rather than factoring out fault percentages minutely, the 75/25 is a frequent solution.
In personal injury and accident cases, some version of split liability is often offered when there is insufficient evidence to conclude fault, and when neither side is willing to accept full responsibility.
This form of settlement does not simply mean that both sides leave and address their own expenses, however. Instead, the case continues as usual and a number is decided on based on the claims for damages that the plaintiff has asked for. Once you accept an offer, the total amount of the compensation that you will actually receive is calculated from there.
For a 50/50 split liability case, if you accept an offer from the other side of $20,000 as a settlement, then the amount that you would actually receive would be 50% of that: $10,000. With a 75/25 split liability case, that same scenario would award you with $15,000 dollars to take care of your damages.
A split liability agreement is only one of the many possible approaches to determining fault in a personal injury or accident case. This offer, as with any other, will not be forced upon you, and you always have the option to refuse to accept it, going on to the next stage of the process.