How Does A 50/50 And Split Liability Personal Injury Claims Work? – Complete Guide

By Daniel Picard. Last Updated 28th June 2022. Welcome to our guide, which answers the question, how does a 50/50 claim work?

When someone gets hurt in an accident that isn’t their fault, caused by the negligent behaviour of a third party, they could often be entitled to claim compensation from the third party who injured them. For example, people who get hurt in road traffic accidents can claim against the driver who hit them, and people who get injured at work can claim against their employers for having lax health and safety policies. However, like so many things in life, it is not always as simple as claiming against someone who is definitely and clearly wrong.

You may be worried about your ability to claim compensation because you know you might have been partially to blame for the accident yourself. Don’t worry; even if you might have contributed to the accident yourself somehow, you could still have the right to claim compensation. This article will explain how you can do this using a split liability claim, also known as a 50/50 claim. But how does a 50/50 claim work? This is a type of claim in which a person could claim compensation from a party that was partially responsible for the accident, even though they hold some of the responsibility as well.

Legal Helpline can offer you a personal injury solicitor who can handle split liability claims. In the following guide, you will learn more about how they work and how it will be advantageous to use a solicitor provided to you by Legal Helpline.

Jump To A Section

  1. A Guide To Split Liability Personal Injury Claims
  2. What Is A Split Liability Agreement?
  3. What Is Fault In A Personal Injury Claim?
  4. Possible Proportions In Split Liability Agreements
  5. Types Of Accident Where You Could Make A Split Liability Personal Injury Claim
  6. Split Liability Road Traffic Accident And Injury Claims
  7. Split Liability Whiplash Personal Injury Claims
  8. Knock For Knock Vs Split Liability
  9. How Is Liability Apportioned In Such Cases?
  10. What Damages Could You Claim When Partially At Fault?
  11. 50/50 At Fault Accident – Split Liability Personal Injury Compensation Claims Calculator
  12. No Win, No Fee Claims For Split Liability Personal Injury Claims
  13. How To Make A Personal Injury Claim And How Legal Helpline Could Assist You
  14. Talk To Legal Helpline Today About Your Claim
  15. Supporting Resources

A Guide To Split Liability Personal Injury Claims

Being involved in an accident and suffering an injury can be a very difficult and stressful experience, especially when it leaves you with a serious injury or disability. You may be worried and even a little ashamed of the fact that you might have been partly to blame through your own actions. Rest assured that even if there is proof that you were partly at fault, then you could still be entitled to claim compensation.

How does a 50-50 claim work

Split liability personal injury claim

So, how does a 50/50 claim work? Well, we’ve put this guide together to inform you about split liability claims and how they work.  We hope that this will help you to decide on whether or not to begin a compensation claim. We will explain some of the different circumstances in which a split liability claim could be made and what some of the different potential outcomes could be.

The guide will also explain how your compensation will be calculated and, with the help of a personal injury claims calculator, will try to give you an idea of how much compensation you could receive. Lastly, we will go over what some of the benefits of making a split liability personal injury claim with Legal Helpline are, including, but not limited to, our No Win, No Fee service.

Before attempting to begin a personal injury claim, you should be aware that there is a three-year personal injury claims time limit, meaning that if more than three years have passed since the date the accident occurred, or more than three years have passed since the effects of the injury were diagnosed, you will most likely no longer be entitled to make a personal injury claim. If you’re unsure about this, please get in touch with one of our helpful advisors using the number at the top of this page.

What Is A Split Liability Agreement?

A split liability agreement Is when the two parties involved in an accident claim both accept a degree of blame. Generally, the evidence will show that both were partly responsible for the accident occurring. When making a split liability agreement, the degree of blame apportioned to the two parties will be decided. The compensation awarded to the victim will be deducted according to the degree of blame they have for the accident. 

A split liability agreement might be made in road traffic accident cases. For example, if a person has been hit by a speeding car but had also neglected to look both ways or cross at a traffic light. In this hypothetical case, the victim could still receive compensation, but a reduced amount reflects the degree of blame they have for the accident.

If a split liability agreement is reached between the victim of the accident and the third party, then there will be no need for the case to carry on to court. Do not be surprised if you are approached with an offer of a split liability agreement by the defendant after an accident. If you receive such an offer, we strongly advise you not to accept it until you have talked to a solicitor or a legal advisor. In some cases, a split liability arrangement might be offered to avoid having to pay you the full amount you could be legally entitled to.

Hopefully, this helps to answer the question, how does a 50/50 claim work? If you have already been offered a split liability agreement, call us using the contact details at the top of this page to discuss it with our advice team.

What Is Fault In A Personal Injury Claim?

Fault in a split liability personal injury claim comes down to whose actions can be proven to be responsible for the accident occurring. This usually means proving that the duty of care that one person or party had for another was broken. A duty of care is a legal responsibility held by individuals or companies to ensure others’ safety. For example, employers have a duty of care to their employees’ health and safety; drivers have a duty of care to passengers in their vehicles and other road users. 

In 50/50 claims or split liability claims, the claimant could still be entitled to compensation on the basis that the duty of care that someone else had for them was not met. Still, the compensation awarded can be reduced depending on what degree of personal responsibility they had for the accident or the severity of their injuries. Compensation could be awarded, for example, if someone was hit by a speeding car while crossing the road at a red light but a reduced rate.

Or say, for example, if someone tripped and fell in a supermarket, then refused first aid and walked home on an injured leg, thus exacerbating their own injury. They could still be entitled to claim compensation due to the supermarket’s negligence in allowing them to suffer an accident. Still, by worsening their injuries through their own actions, they could reduce the amount of compensation they would be entitled to.

Possible Proportions In Split Liability Agreements

In split liability cases, the degree of blame apportioned to each party is expressed as a ratio, i.e. 50/50, in cases in which both parties are found to share equal blame or responsibility. In a 50/50 case, the claimant will receive 50% of the compensation they would have done in a normal personal injury claim in which they had no role in causing the accident.

In some cases, the claimant could be found to be mostly responsible for the accident, with the defendant ruled to have less responsibility for the accident. In a case like this, the fault might be apportioned something like 25/75, in which case the claimant could receive as little as 25% of the total compensation value.

In others, the amount deducted from the victim’s compensation will be smaller because the responsibility apportioned to the defendant will outweigh the role of the claimant’s actions in helping to cause the accident. For example, the blame might be shared out 75/25, and the claimant will receive their compensation minus 25% of the total.

Types Of Accident Where You Could Make A Split Liability Personal Injury Claim

Going back to how does a 50/50 claim work, split liability claims could be made in any circumstances that an ordinary personal injury claim could be made in, such as accidents at work, slips, trips and falls, medical negligence and accidents in public places. A split liability compensation claim could be made in any situation in which you suffered an accident, and it was at least partly someone else’s fault. However, for several reasons, one of the most likely causes for a split liability claim is a road traffic accident. Our next few sections will address the nature of split liability cases in road traffic accidents.

Split Liability Road Traffic Accident And Injury Claims

Accidents on the road can happen so quickly that it is sometimes tricky to tell clearly what happened. This is especially true when road traffic accidents involve two moving vehicles. In some circumstances, it can be hard to say with certainty that one driver’s actions alone definitely caused the accident. Here are some of the ways that a split liability claim could emerge from a road traffic accident.

  • Rear-end collisions:  Such accidents occur when one car bumps into the back of another. They can sometimes cause damage to the rear or front of a car as well as causing injuries like whiplash. They are often caused by the actions of one driver or another, though both drivers can have displayed negligence.
  • Right-hand turns in traffic: Turning into the path of oncoming traffic is dangerous if you do so irresponsibly and without indicating or looking out for other drivers. Nevertheless, you could still be able to seek compensation through a split liability claim if the vehicle that hit you was in some way responsible as well, for example, if they were speeding.
  • Confusion over the right of way: sometimes drivers can collide when they make a mistake over who has the right of way. Due to the mutual confusion, a split liability claim could be made in these circumstances.

Split Liability Whiplash Personal Injury Claims

Whiplash quite commonly arises out of road traffic accidents. Whiplash is what happens when a person’s head jolts forwards and backwards quickly and violently, causing the soft tissues in their neck to suffer damage. People with whiplash often experience pain, discomfort, difficulty moving their neck and head, nausea and headaches. 

Whiplash is not usually a severe injury and resolves itself after a few weeks or months. Unfortunately, there isn’t much that a victim can do to treat it other than resting the neck, taking paracetamol and ibuprofen for the symptoms, and waiting for it to heal by itself.

Because whiplash is a minor injury, the amount of compensation awarded for it will not be especially large. Nevertheless, you could still claim for it in a split liability claim. You may find it useful for you to read through this NHS page on whiplash injuries and treatment.

Knock-For-Knock Vs Split Liability

Knock-for-knock claims are different to split liability claims. In split liability claims, the insurers and solicitors of the two parties involved in the accident will try to determine, if possible, what share of the blame lies on each person involved in the road traffic accident. Compensation will be awarded to the persons involved in a ratio that reflects the degree of responsibility they each had for causing the accident. This sums up the answer to how does a 50/50 claim work.

In a knock-for-knock claim, no such effort will be made. Instead, the two insurance companies will agree to pay to cover their parties compensation and damages regardless of the degree of blame for the accident. This is often done when the insurers wish to avoid the legal costs of a lengthy investigation and court proceedings or when the two parties involved share the same insurer. By accepting a knock-for-knock claim, you may be missing out on the chance to have an appropriate amount paid out to you by the responsible party. We advise against accepting a knock-for-knock agreement unless you have spoken to a solicitor or legal advisor about it first.

How Is Liability Apportioned In Such Cases?

In knock-for-knock cases, neither side is given liability, meaning that each party will receive a payout from their own insurance company, with both sides admitting to being at fault with no attempt made to ascertain whose actions contributed more to the accident. This is often done in the interests of the insurance companies or a defendant who faces greater liability if responsibility is accurately determined. These arrangements can be unfair to claimants who were less responsible for the accident and could receive a higher amount of compensation.

What Damages Could You Claim When Partially At Fault?

Special damages refer to the financial expenses and losses related to the injury and accident that a claimant suffered. It is not enough to pay a victim for the physical injury itself., Financial costs and losses they have experienced need to be paid back if the situation is to be put right. There are several different ways in which a person who has been injured in an accident could lose money as a result:

  • Medical expenses
  • Care expenses
  • Travel expenses
  • Loss of earnings
  • Loss or damage to property and belongings.

These losses could be claimed back through compensation. But remember that it is important to have any receipts and paperwork relating to these expenses to prove that you did incur these losses.

50/50 At Fault Accident – Split Liability Personal Injury Compensation Claims Calculator

When making a claim for split liability compensation, you need to bear in mind that the settlement you receive will be worth less than if you were not liable at all. For instance, in a 50/50 car accident claim, your compensation would be half of that of someone who was entirely fault-free for how they were injured. Liability may also be split in ways other than 50/50. Fault in a car accident (and in other scenarios) may be 70/30, 80/20, or another split entirely. The more liability you are deemed to have, the less compensation you will typically be awarded.

This discounted rate is a factor that legal professionals need to consider when they are calculating your settlement. It affects both general damage and special damages.

As mentioned above, special damages can cover various costs, losses, and expenses. General damages are to compensate you for the pain and suffering that you experience due to your injuries. Factors such as the length of your recovery period and severity of any injuries are taken into account when professionals in the legal field are arriving at an appropriate sum for a general damages payment.

The figures below have been taken from a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG was last updated in 2022, and it is this edition we have taken the figures from. Legal professionals make use of the JCG during the process of working out how much your general damages could or should be worth.

The amounts below may give you a rough idea as to the value of this portion of your compensation. However, whilst the figures have been based on past court cases, they have not been adjusted for cases of split liability. So, compensation will not be awarded at the rate listed in the JCG in these cases.

InjuryNotesCompensation
Severe neck injuries (i)Injuries causing paraplegia or incomplete quadriplegia as well as pain and headaches despite wearing a neck brace. In the region of £148,330
Severe neck injuries (ii)Injuries linked to damage to the spine and/or brachial plexus which cause disability less serious than those describe above.£65,740 to £130,930
Severe neck injuriesFractures and soft tissue damage which gives rise to chronic issues and disability.£45,470 to £55,990
Moderate neck injuries (i)Injuries causing impaired function, chronic issues and vulnerability to further trauma and vulnerability.£24,990 to £38,490
Moderate neck injuries (ii)Injuries causing discomfort, pain, difficulty moving, necessitating surgery or risking further trauma. £13,740 to £24,990
Moderate neck injuries (iii)Injuries which have accelerated or exacerbated pre-existing issues.£7,890 to £13,740
Minor neck injuries (i)A full recovery in one to two years.£4,350 to £7,890
Minor neck injuries (iii)Where a full recovery is made within three months.Up to £2,450

No Win No Fee Claims For Split Liability Personal Injury Claims

Another issue that might concern you about making a personal injury claim is the expense of legal fees. You can avoid legal fees by making a No Win No Fee claim. All of the solicitors on our panel can offer you the option of pursuing a case on a No Win No Fee basis.  A No Win No Fee claim requires no payment to the solicitor upfront or during the claim, and if the case is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay any fees incurred by your solicitor in pursuing your case. 

If the claim is successful, your solicitor may seek a small contribution toward their costs. This contribution is known as a success fee and would be deducted from the compensation awarded at the end of the claim. Success fees are legally capped and will be agreed upon with you before the claim begins. 

Our team will be happy to answer any questions you may have about making a No Win, No Fee claim.

How To Make A Personal Injury Claim And How Legal Helpline Could Assist You

Our panel of solicitors has over thirty years of experience handling personal injury claims. They will strive to win you the maximum amount of compensation possible and will guide you through the complexities of the legal process, explaining legal jargon along the way. And if ever you have a query or would like an update on your case, they’ll be on hand to take your call.

Talk To Legal Helpline Today About Your Claim

Hopefully, we’ve answered for you the question of how does a 50/50 claim work. You can get started on the next step of seeking compensation today; you can either:

Supporting Resources

Our guide to making car accident claims.

Further information on making car accident claims.

Guidance on car park accident claims.

The Highway Code

The Motor Insurance Bureau can handle compensation in cases in which the driver responsible cannot be found or identified.

How Does A 50/50 Claim Work FAQs

Does my car insurance increase with a 50/50 claim?

Car insurance prices will always increase no matter who is responsible for the crash or who makes a claim. However, if you’re not at fault for the accident, the price rise isn’t as significant. Incidentally, insurance could rise after an accident even if you don’t make a claim.

How long do insurance providers take to determine whose fault an accident was?

In normal circumstances, you can expect to hear back from an insurance provider within three days. A longer waiting period tends to accompany any accidents which are more complicated. But using a repair garage with a link to the insurance company should decrease the waiting time.

Should I go through insurance or should I pay out of pocket?

If the accident is only minimal, then you could pay out of pocket. But if the costs are significant, then it makes more sense to go through your insurance. But note that insurance costs are likely to rise in either scenario.

When should you avoid trying to claim car insurance?

This tends to be when you have a no claims bonus (NCB) discount to use. And this generally applies a 20% reduction on the following year’s insurance premium if you don’t claim insurance during the previous year.

Guide by JY

Edited by REG

Thank you for reading our guide, which answers the question, how does a 50/50 claim work?