How To Tell Who Is At Fault In A Car Accident?

Car accidents require that fault be determined. It is important to learn who was careless or negligent, and who was responsible for the accident. And although in many cases it is easy to see what happened, the determination of who is at fault may not be so easy because some laws or rules may have been broken that are not immediately apparent.

What Elements Are Considered When Deciding Who Is At Fault?

Location of the cars

The car at the tail end of the accident will be deemed responsible in most cases. And if there were more than two cars involved, each vehicle that hits another from behind may be found partially responsible for the accident.

The state’s driving laws

In cases where the accident doesn’t involve a rear-end collision, determining who was negligent can prove to be a bit more difficult. This is when it becomes necessary to consult the state’s driving laws. Was there speeding involved? Were traffic signals ignored?

Who Determines Who Is At Fault?

Mostly, it’s insurance companies who do the determination.

How a Claim’s Adjuster Reviews Your Accident

After the accident, once the claim has been filed, each insurance company assigns the case to an adjuster. They are the ones who are responsible for conducting an investigation into what exactly happened. To do this, they examine the damage to the car, review medical reports an, if possible, speak to witnesses. Also, the details of the insurance policy are verified as far as coverage amounts.

What If There Is a Lawsuit?

Many lawsuits settle before they go to court. In the event that the case needs to be litigated, the court will determine who is at fault. To do this, they base their decision on the legal definition of negligence, and after a review of all of the evidence, will make a ruling. 

How Is Negligence Defined In This Case?

A person is considered to be negligent when they fail to exercise reasonable caution, considering the circumstances. Based on the evidence, either a judge or a jury will determine whether one or both of the drivers were negligent and who must pay to compensate for injuries or losses that took place because of this negligence.

Even though there may be police reports or determination of fault made by insurance companies, neither of these may control the outcome of a court case.

Are There Any Actions You Can Take After The Accident?

The first thing you can do at the accident scene is to remain calm and respect the other party. By not driving the situation out of control, determining who is at fault can be done more easily.

Gather evidence by taking pictures of the cars, their location, and the surroundings. Pay attention to traffic signs and take pictures of them too. Also, exchange contact information with the other driver.

Were You Involved In A Car Accident And Are Unsure As To How Fault Was Determined?

If you have been in an accident and don’t know how or if a determination of fault could affect your defense and recovery, seek legal advice. Knowledgeable and experienced 1800-injured lawyers will review the facts and discuss with you what role a fault could play in your compensation award.