Split liability agreement | Definition
An accident is not always one person's fault. When multiple parties cause property damage or personal injury, you can literally apportion or "split" the blame.
Suppose you are driving along a busy road when your car is hit by another vehicle pulling out of a side road. As a result of the collision, your car is severely damaged and you suffer whiplash and other personal injuries.
If you were observing the speed limit and driving with proper care - basically doing everything right - the other driver is probably to blame for the accident. Your claim might be worth £8,000 in compensation.
But suppose you were driving too fast. Your excessive speed caused the other driver to misjudge the amount of time he had to turn out of the side road, resulting in the collision. Should the other driver still pay 100% of the compensation?
In this scenario, a Court may decide that you were partially to blame for the accident. You will probably receive a reduced award to reflect the part you played in the collision.
What is split liability?
As its name suggests, split liability is awarded when more than one person is responsible for causing an accident. It most commonly occurs in road traffic accidents where an insurance company might judge that both drivers are equally responsible for a collision and therefore must pay 50% of the liability. But split liability can occur in any type of property damage or personal injury claim.
If I have split liability, what compensation will I receive?
The insurers or solicitors handling the claim will begin by assessing the amount of compensation you should receive, assuming the other party is 100% responsible for causing your accident. If your claim goes to Court, a judge will decide the overall value of your claim.
Next, a decision is made about the extent to which you are responsible for causing your own injuries. This is usually expressed as a percentage.
- 100% award means the other party is entirely to blame. You receive all of your compensation.
- 75/25 award means that you are 25% responsible for the accident. You receive 75% of your compensation.
- 50/50 award means that you are equally responsible for the accident. You receive 50% of your compensation.
- 25/75 award means that you are 75% responsible for the accident. You receive 25% of your compensation.
Split liability is also referred to as "contributory negligence." This is simply another way of expressing that you were partly at fault for causing the accident and thus contributed to your own injuries.
Are my solicitor's fees split too?
No, they are not. Your legal costs are based on the overall value of your claim and not on your split liability agreement.
Even if your claim settles on a 25/75 basis, your legal advisors are still entitled to their full legal costs.
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The panel of solicitors provide advice on all types of personal injury claims daily, supporting those who may be partly responsible for their accident as they move forward with their lives.
Quittance works on a strict no win no fee basis meaning you pay nothing at all if your claim is unsuccessful.
To find out how we can help you with your claim, call us now or contact us online.
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About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.