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Steven M. Bialick
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Minneapolis, MN 55416
952-542-1927, email: [email protected]

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By Steven M. Bialick, Attorney,  email: [email protected]


If two people are each partially at fault for an accident, the way the total fault is divided between them can have major legal consequences.


Usually insurance companies decide what percentage of fault they think is attributable to each person, based on similar cases.  For example, if an accident occurs at an uncontrolled intersection when one vehicle makes a left turn in front of another vehicle, an insurance company might say that the left-turning vehicle is 80% at fault and that the other vehicle is 20% at fault.


If the parties or insurers can’t agree on how the fault should be divided, a jury, judge, or arbitrator might need to make that division, based on all the facts of the case.


In most states, the amount a person is entitled to receive from another at-fault party, for losses he or she suffered as the result of an accident, is reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to him or her.  For example, if a person is 20% responsible for an accident, the amount that person can receive from another at-fault party is reduced by 20%.


However, in many states, a person is only entitled to payment from another at-fault party if the other party’s percentage of fault is over a certain amount, such as over 49% or over 50%.


Further, in some states, if any fault is attributed to a person who suffers a loss from an accident, that person is not entitled to collect anything from another at-fault party.


Steven M. Bialick has been in the private practice of law since 1980.  He practices in the areas of accident and personal injury law.  This article is intended to provide general information only, and is not legal advice or a legal opinion on any certain facts or circumstances.  Readers are encouraged to consult with an attorney on any specific legal questions or matters.


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