Split Liability Claims Guide – Making A 50/50 Fault Accident Claim

By Stephen Kane. Last Updated 3rd July 2023. When you research personal injury claims you’ll usually read that to make a successful claim, somebody else has to be at fault. There are, however, situations where both parties can be partially to blame for the accident. This is where a split liability agreement comes into play.

These agreements are used when either both parties are equally to blame for an accident or where one party is more responsible but the other does share a smaller portion of the blame.

Split liability accident claims guide

Split liability accident claims guide

If you’d like to begin a split liability agreement claim today, you can call us on 0161 696 9685 and we’ll discuss the details of your claim right away.

If you want to know more about how split liability claims work before contacting us, then please continue reading this useful guide.

Select A Section

  1. What Does ‘Fault’ In An Accident Mean?
  2. What Is A Split Liability Agreement?
  3. How Much Compensation Could I Claim When Partly At Fault?
  4. What Can I Claim When I Am Partially At Fault (50/50)?
  5. Proportions In Split Liability Agreements
  6. Who’ll Decide The Proportion Of Liability In Split Liability Agreements?
  7. Common Accidents Which Can Lead To Split Liability
  8. Split Liability Car Accident Claims
  9. Split Liability Vs Knock For Knock
  10. How Long Do I Have To Make A Split Liability Claim?
  11. Making A Split Liability Claim With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
  12. Resources And Advice

What Does ‘Fault’ In An Accident Mean?

When fault is apportioned to somebody involved in an accident, it means that they were responsible for the accident. You’ve probably heard about personal injury claims referred to as ‘Non-fault claims.’

This would mean that the claimant had no part in causing the accident, and it was entirely the fault of the defendant. This is the basis on which most personal injury claims are taken on but there are cases where both parties involved in an accident, both accept partial responsibility for the accident.

Common faults when driving are:

  • Driving into the back of another vehicle is usually always the fault of the driver behind.
  • Pulling out onto a main road, where the driver on the main road has the right of way in most cases.
  • When a collision occurs between a car turning right to leave a highway and collides with another vehicle already on the highway and travelling in the opposite direction.

Other examples of complete fault claims will exist, but this guide is going to cover the types of claims that can’t be settled in this way and the blame for the accident is split between 2 or more drivers or parties.

What Is A Split Liability Agreement?

A split liability agreement is where both parties involved in an accident have taken responsibility for the accident, sometimes this will be after a period of negotiation.

Both parties can seek a percentage of compensation for any injuries or damages caused by the accident.

If an accident is split 50/50 then you will receive 50 percent of the damages that would have normally been awarded if you had not been at fault at all.

For instance, if you would normally be awarded £10,000 compensation:

  • If both parties agreed to be equally responsible for the accident (50/50) you’d receive £5000.
  • If it was agreed that you were 25% responsible (75/25) you’d receive £7500 compensation.

This can be quite a complex agreement to make and we’d definitely recommend you make use of our free legal advice when considering making a split liability agreement.

How Much Compensation Could I Claim When Partly At Fault?

A personal injury claim involving split liability can still lead to compensation payments for your injuries, you’ll just receive a percentage of the usual award. The table below details some injuries and how much compensation can be awarded please note these amounts are if you are not at fault at all.

Type of Injury/ Body PartLevel of SeverityHow Much Could You Claim?Further Comments
Multiple Injuries With Financial LossesSevereUp to £1,000,000+Compensation for multiple injuries that are severe plus special damages such as a loss of earnings.
Brain/Head Injury Very Severe Brain Damage £282,010 to £403,990Little or no response to environment, little or no language function and double incontinence. There may be some ability to follow basic commands and recovery of sleep and waking patterns.
Arm Injury Severe £96,160 to £130,930The injuries will fall short of amputation but will still be incredibly serious and leave the claimant little better off than if the arm had been lost.
Hand Injury(B)£55,820 to £84,570Serious damage to both hands. There will be a significant loss of function and permanent cosmetic issues.
Knee Injury Severe (ii)£52,120 to £69,730Leg fractures that extend into the knee joint. This will cause permanent pain alongside other issues.
Back Injury Moderate (ii)£12,510 to £27,760Could include disturbance of muscles and ligaments. It could also involve the exacerbation of a pre-existing condition.
Foot Injury Serious£24,990 to £39,200Injuries leading to the risk of future arthritis or continuous pain from traumatic arthritis. There will also be a need for prolonged treatment and risk of fusion surgery.
Wrist Injury (C)£12,590 to £24,500Less severe injuries where the result is still some form of permanent disability.

Remember, in the case of a 50/50 split liability agreement, you’ll only receive half of the figures stated in the table. Give us a call if your injury isn’t listed and you are unsure whether or not you can proceed to make a claim.

As you’ll see from the next section, the table above represents one part of the claim known as general damages. There may be other elements that can be added that may increase the amount of compensation you’ll receive.

What Can I Claim When I Am Partially At Fault (50/50)?

A personal injury solicitor, like the one’s provided by Advice.co.uk, can refer to a number of ‘Heads of Loss’ when compiling a compensation claim. Each case is different and so some losses may or may not be used, depending on how the accident and injuries have affected you.

The main heads of loss are:

General Damages

These are the figures that appear in the table in the previous section and are compensation payments for the pain and suffering that the injuries have caused you. They are graded from minor to severe, so your personal injury solicitor needs to demonstrate, as part of your split liability claim, the exact severity of your injuries. They may use medical professionals to demonstrate this.

Special Damages

These are easier to calculate than general damages, but they do need to be justified and be proven to be linked to your accident. Special damages are the financial costs that you’ve had to pay out because of your injury including:

Travel Costs

If you’ve incurred costs like the cost of a hire car or public transport costs because of your injuries, you could claim the cost back.

Care Costs

While in recovery, you may need to employ specialist care to aid you. If this is the case, then the cost of the carer could be claimed back.

Personal Property Damage

If any item of personal property was damaged during your accident, then you would be able to claim compensation for the cost of replacing or repairing the item.

Lost Earnings

When you need to take time off from work to recuperate or to have medical treatment, you may lose out on some or all of your salary depending on your employer’s sick pay policy.  Any lost income can be claimed back as part of the compensation. Furthermore, if you’re likely to lose any future earnings because of your injuries, then these can be added to the claim as well.

With any special damages, you should check with your personal injury solicitor, where possible, before committing to the cost to ensure that it can be justified and claimed back as part of the compensation payment.

Of course, in the case of a split liability agreement, you’ll only receive a percentage of any special damages awarded as you’ll have agreed that you were partially to blame for the accident.

Proportions In Split Liability Agreements

When agreeing to a liability agreement, they are described in terms of percentage splits (as you’ll have seen elsewhere in this guide).  The table below outlines some common liability splits and what they mean:

Split PercentagesDefinition
100%Somebody has accepted that they were completely responsible for the accident. You'll get 100% of any compensation due.
75/25The other party has admitted the majority of the blame but you were partially to blame. You'll receive 75% of any compensation that is awarded.
50/50Both parties are equally to blame for the accident. Your compensation will be reduced to 50% of the normal level.

If you’re unsure whether it’d be a good idea to make a split liability claim, please contact one of our friendly team for advice.

Who’ll Decide The Proportion Of Liability In Split Liability Agreements?

Deciding upon the percentage split in split liability claims can be tricky, especially if neither side wants to back down or admit any liability at all.

Your personal injury solicitor will try to achieve an agreement with the other persons solicitor or insurance company but if that fails, other options exist including:

  • Firstly, an insurance company could conduct their own investigations when considering road traffic accident.
  • If the liability can’t be concluded following the investigation, then it may require the intervention of a judge in a court to decide on who was to blame and, if multiple parties were, the exact percentage split.

Common Accidents Which Can Lead To Split Liability

There are some types of road traffic accident which can end up as split liability claims including:

  • Two cars reversing out of parking spaces at the same time and end up colliding with each other.
  • Where one driver pulls out on to the main road from a junction and collides with another car, but the other car was driving above the speed limit for the road.

Other examples exist, so if you’re unsure if you need to agree to a split liability claim, please contact us before speaking to the other party or agreeing to any percentage split.

Split Liability Car Accident Claims

In the first example above, of the two cars reversing out at the same time, another scenario could be that one driver spotted what was about to happen and stopped their car, but the other driver didn’t, and the collision still happened.

You’d think that the driver who stopped wouldn’t be liable at all, but this would be difficult to prove if there were no witnesses or any CCTV or dashcam footage to support the claim. If this is the case, it may be advisable to accept a 50/50 agreement.

Split Liability Vs Knock For Knock

A split liability agreement is not to be confused with a knock for knock type agreement. Split liability claims are used to make personal injury claims where each party has admitted to their portion of responsibility for the accident.

Knock for knock means that each parties’ insurers will pay out for their clients claims themselves and nobody has admitted any liability themselves and cannot be used for personal injury claims.

How Long Do I Have To Make A Split Liability Claim?

All personal injury claims in the UK have strict time limits associated with them. The table below shows the current time limits for making a split liability claim:

Type of claimTime limit
Personal Injury Claim3 years from the date of accident or date of knowledge of injury

Depending on how the defendant (or other party involved in the accident) reacts to the claim that they were partly to blame for the accident, these types of claims may take a while to conduct.

Therefore, it’s advisable to ensure you make your claim as soon as possible to allow your solicitor to deal with negotiations about liability, to allow any investigations to take place and to ensure they have enough time to gather all of the supporting evidence needed to make a claim.

Making A Split Liability Claim With A No Win No Fee Solicitor

If you have strong grounds to claim split liability compensation, then you could seek help from a solicitor. If you speak to our advisors about your personal injury claim, they may connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel.

A No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel may offer their support under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Under this agreement, you won’t need to pay for your solicitor’s services before your claim starts or while it’s being processed. You also won’t need to pay them if your claim is unsuccessful.

If your claim is successful, then the No Win No Fee solicitor who supported your claim could take a legally capped percentage from the compensation awarded to you. This percentage is referred to as a success fee.

To ask questions about working with a No Win No Fee solicitor or other aspects to split liability claims, contact our advisors for free. You can reach them by:

Resources And Advice

We hope that you’ve now got enough information to base your decision of whether to claim or not on. For further information, we’ve provided some more relevant and useful guides and articles:

Whiplash Injuries – A guide to the cause, symptoms and treatment for whiplash and similar conditions.

The Highway Code – the rules of the road in the United Kingdom for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.