In the United States, there are an estimated 13 car accidents every minute. With every car accident, there is a risk of death, injuries, and a legal battle to determine fault.
Most legal battles relate to who will pay for the losses after the crash. Who is at fault will determine what damages each person can claim and what they’ll have to pay out of pocket.
But, determining fault can get tricky. That’s why it’s always best to hire lawyers to help you figure out who is at fault in a car accident. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is “Fault”?
In a car accident, fault refers to the person or party who caused the accident. In other words, if the person had done something differently, the accident could have been avoided.
It’s not always clear who is to blame. That’s why states have laws about determining fault.
Sometimes, it’s as simple as one person not following traffic laws, which means they assume responsibility for the wreck. But, in cases where both parties broke rules or where lots of people were involved, it gets more complicated.
Determining fault is important for any criminal proceedings if someone died. But, they’re also important for non-fatal accidents because it lets courtrooms know which party is responsible for the damages.
There are three people involved in determining car wreck fault. The first is the people involved, the second is the police, and the third is the insurance companies.
The people involved sometimes assign fault amongst themselves. If someone admits they were wrong, this can be used against them later and they’ll have to bear the financial burden of damages. It’s best to avoid apologies, gather as much information as possible, and wait for the police to arrive.
Police arrive on the scene and put together a report. They’ll look at the evidence, talk to the drivers and any witnesses, and piece together what happened. Through this process, they’ll usually assign blame to a driver.
Insurance companies use the police report to determine who they believe is at fault. This is easier in cases where someone is 100% at fault. If both drivers were in the wrong or an external factor caused the accident, it gets more complicated.
When No Fault Is Determined
Some states have no-fault laws. This means an insurance company is the first place a person will seek out compensation. It’s completely up to the driver and their own insurance company to sort out financial compensation.
Insurance companies are notoriously stingy and avoid payouts as much as possible. This is why it’s so important to hire a car wreck lawyer to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. If your losses exceed your policy limit, then you may want to file a legal claim in court.
Determining Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident
Determining who is at fault in a car accident is an important step in the legal compensation process. Drivers, police, and insurance companies all play roles in this.
To make sure you’re protected and avoid false blame, it’s best to hire a car wreck attorney.
Contact us for all your motor vehicle legal needs.