As a driver, you know you have the responsibility to follow the rules of the road. Drive the speed limit. Pay attention to road conditions. Watch what other drivers are doing and react accordingly.
If all drivers were following the rules of the road, why then are there so many car accidents? It’s a simple answer, some drivers are not doing what they should be doing behind the wheel.
In the event of an accident, car accident fault must be determined. Police want to know if a certain driver should be ticketed. Insurance companies want to know who’s responsible for damages.
How is fault figured out when a car accident happens? You would think it’s pretty simple knowing which driver caused an accident. Yet, often there are a number of factors you might not have considered.
What Does it Mean At-Fault?
This seems like a simple enough question. If you are stopped in your car and another car crashes into you, the fault might seem obvious. Not all car accidents are that black and white.
In fact, often when an accident happens, drivers start to blame other drivers. They are at the scene pointing fingers and placing fault on other drivers.
The driver at-fault is the driver who caused the accident to happen through their negligent actions behind the wheel.
At-Fault vs. No-Fault States
One big factor following an accident is if you live in a fault or tort state or if you live in a no-fault state.
An at-fault state means your state has laws that say the person who caused the accident will be responsible through their insurance for damages, medical care, and other expenses connected to the accident.
No-fault states don’t associate fault with damages. If you are in an accident and are not at fault, your insurance company will still pay your damages.
Police and Fault
When an accident happens one of the first things you should do is call the police. They are trained experts at analyzing the scene of an accident to determine who is at fault for causing it.
They will look at the cars, interview drivers and witnesses, and consider road conditions. They will look at what series of events unfolded to end up with the cars in an accident.
Often insurance companies will rely on this initial investigation by the police when you make an accident claim.
Insurance Companies and Fault
Insurance companies also employ adjusters who investigate accidents to see who they think is at fault. Remember, no insurance company wants to pay out a claim if they can get another insurance company to pay it.
This is where accidents get complicated. It’s one of the 5 signs it’s time to get an attorney involved. If there were multiple cars involved in an accident and the many insurance companies start disagreeing over who’s responsible, you need an attorney who is acting to protect your interests.
Your attorney can work with insurance adjusters to make sure they are getting the facts correct as they analyze the accident.
Understanding Car Accident Fault Laws
It’s bad enough to be involved in a car accident. You have to deal with your injuries and damage to your car. Then you have to try to get your insurance company to pay you for the costs connected to the accident.
Car accident fault matters because it will determine who is ultimately responsible for covering the damages and bills associated with your car accident.
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