How Do 50/50 Split Liability Personal Injury Claims Work And When Could I Make One?

By Danielle Graves. Last Updated 21st July 2023. Welcome to our guide, which answers the question, how does a 50/50 claim work?

How does a 50-50 claim work

Split liability personal injury claim

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 it wasn’t a non-fault accident, you could still have the right to claim compensation. 

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. What Is A Split Liability Agreement?
  2. How Do 50/50 Split Liability Personal Injury Claims Work
  3. Possible Proportions In Split Liability Agreements
  4. Examples Of Potential Split Liability Claims
  5. Split Liability Whiplash Personal Injury Claims
  6. Knock For Knock Vs Split Liability
  7. 50/50 At Fault Accident – Split Liability Personal Injury Compensation Claims Calculator
  8. No Win, No Fee Claims For Split Liability Personal Injury Claims
  9. Learn More About How Do 50/50 Split Liability Personal Injury Claims Work

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.

How Do 50/50 Split Liability Personal Injury Claims Work

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.

How Much Time Do I Have To Start A Split Liability Claim?

If you are eligible to seek split liability compensation, you must start the claiming process before the personal injury claims time limit expires. This is typically three years from the date of the accident, as set by the Limitation Act 1980.

However, there are circumstances that create an exception to this limitation period. These include:

  • Those who do not have the mental capacity to begin a claim themselves. The time limit is suspended indefinitely in this case. However, during this time, a court-appointed litigation friend can claim on their behalf. If the injured party regains this mental capacity, they will have three years from the date of recovery to begin the process if a litigation friend did not act for them.
  • Those under the age of 18. The limitation period is paused until they turn 18. Prior to this date, a litigation friend can begin the claiming process for them. However, once they reach 18, they will have three years from their 18th birthday to file a claim if a litigation friend did not begin one for them.

If you would like to find out more about the limitation period in split liability claims, please get in touch with one of our advisors.

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.

Examples Of Potential Split Liability 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 the neck to suffer damage. People with whiplash often experience pain, discomfort, difficulty moving their neck and head, nausea and headaches. 

On May 31st 2021, the Whiplash Reform Programme came into effect. Now, some whiplash claims in England and Wales are made differently if you are:

  • A driver or passenger of a vehicle
  • Aged 18 or over
  • Claiming for injuries valued at £5,000 or under

If you make a successful personal injury claim for whiplash, then your compensation will be calculated in line with the tariffs set out by the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021. You can find some examples of these tariffs later on in this article. If you have other injuries that bring your claim over the £5,000 threshold, your claim will be made the traditional way, but your whiplash injuries will still be valued in line with the tariffs.

You might still be wondering, “my car accident was my fault, can I claim personal injury compensation?” Contact our team of advisors today to learn more about making a 50/50 insurance claim and who pays what, or continue reading for more information.

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.

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.

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). 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.

Neck injuries - Severe (ii)Injuries that cause damage to the cervical discs in the spine and/or brachial plexus which cause a serious disability£65,740 to £130,930
Neck injuries - Moderate (i)Fractures in the neck or dislocations that cause immediate symptoms and may result in spinal fusion.£24,990 to £38,490
Leg Injuries - Very Serious (ii)The person may require crutches for the rest of their life due to permanent mobility problems.£54,830 to £87,890
Leg Injuries - Moderate (iv)Severe crushing injuries or multiple/complicated fractures in a single leg. Various factors will affect how much is awarded.£27,760 to £39,200
Injuries to the Pelvis and Hips - Moderate (i)A significant injury to the hip or pelvis, but there isn't a major disability.£26,590 to £39,170
Arm Injuries - Less SevereA significant disability that experiences a large recovery or is expected to.£19,200 to £39,170
Arm Injuries - (d)The forearm has suffered simple fractures.£6,610 to £19,200
Back injuries - Moderate (i)Crush or compression fractures to the lumbar vertebrae that cause constant discomfort and pain with a risk of osteoarthritis.£27,760 to £38,780
Back injuries - Moderate (ii)Frequently encountered injuries to the back such as the muscles or ligaments being disturbed which causes backache.£12,510 to £27,760
1+ Whiplash Injuries With Psychological InjuriesLasting 18-24 months£4,345
1+ Whiplash InjuriesSymptoms last 18-24 months£4,215

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.

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Learn More About How Do 50/50 Split Liability Personal Injury Claims Work

Guide by JY

Edited by REG

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