If you’ve gotten into a car accident, or any other accident, that has resulted in serious injuries, you may need to look into a personal injury claim to cover the costs involved. Medical bills can add up quickly after an injury, and many people can’t afford to pay them out of pocket. There’s something making you hesitate to file a claim, though: you think you were partially at fault for the accident.

If that’s the case, don’t worry just yet. You aren’t automatically excluded from filing a claim just because you may have played a hand in causing the accident. There are different forms of negligence that still allow you to receive compensation depending on what state you live in.

Comparative Negligence

This form of negligence means that you can still receive compensation dependent on the percent you were responsible for the accident. If someone is jaywalking without looking to see if a car is coming and a car hits them, then both parties may be partially at fault for not paying attention; but clearly the actions of both helped create the outcome of the accident. When the time comes for getting compensation, the amount each party receives will correlate with their fault (for example, if one person is 40% at fault and the other is 60% at fault).

Contributory Negligence 

This is the other most common form of negligence you may encounter. Some states rule that being partially at fault for the accident can prevent you from obtaining any compensation from the other person’s insurance company. Even if you were only a little bit at fault, you cannot make a claim with their insurance.

Modified Comparative Negligence 

This is a combination of comparative and contributory negligence. Instead of preventing a partially at fault plaintiff from receiving any compensation, it may be ruled that the plaintiff receive some of the money so long as they are less than 50% responsible for the accident. This way, someone who has partially caused an accident can still obtain money to help pay bills.

Negligence laws vary from state to state and can affect your situation in different ways. Every case is different, and trying to understand how being partially at fault for your accident influences your claim isn’t something you want to leave to chance.