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Who Determines Who is at Fault in a Car Accident?

Submitted by pec on

Determining who was at fault in a car accident is very important if you were injured and your car was damaged. Even if you had your accident in a no-fault state, the compulsory PIP insurance policy will not cover property damage. You will have to file a personal injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer, assuming you have evidence that the driver caused the damage to your car. There are various ways that determining who was at fault might be made. Read on below for the main ways that this can happen.

When the Drivers Decide Who Is At Fault

Accidents can be frightening and emotionally charged events. It is important that you exchange information with any other driver involved in the accident and ask any possible witnesses for contact details in case they were able to help confirm what happened. It is important not to admit any fault while at the accident scene, but sometimes the driver who was at fault actually lets slip that they were the cause of the accident. Typical verbal clues are when they apologize for what happened. This sort of admission, especially if it was overheard by witnesses, can help you claim for compensation.

When the Police Decide Who Is At Fault

After any accident which was not very minor, you should contact the police and emergency services if someone is badly injured. Police officers will attend any crash scene which blocks the flow of traffic or involves injuries. When they get to the crash site, apart from directing traffic, they will take notes and ask questions about what happened. They will then compile an accident report which may give information which can be used to show who was at fault. You should ensure you get a copy of the accident report to support any claim you make.

When the Insurance Provider Decides Who Is At Fault

Whenever an insurance claim is made, whether it is your own insurance provider or the insurance provider of any other driver involved in the accident, they will want to minimize the amount they may have to pay out. This means they will try and investigate the cause of the accident. Your own provider, for instance, will try and get back any payments from another driver if there is evidence that he or she was at fault. If you file a personal injury claim with that driver’s insurer yourself, they will also try and investigate the circumstances of the accident.

When Other Parties Decide

If an insurance claim is made and is contested, it may have to go to arbitration or trial. Normally, you would want to use a personal injury lawyer to help you if the insurer of the at-fault driver is being obstinate and challenges your evidence. PI lawyers will be experienced at negotiating with insurers and will attempt to arrange a fair settlement without having to go to court, but if a substantial sum is involved and the evidence is good, then a jury may be the only option.

Get Help From a Car Accident Lawyer

Every car accident is unique. It may be relatively easy to determine who was at fault in an accident, but it may also be hard convincing another driver’s insurer that their client was liable for damages. A car accident lawyer’s legal expertise will help your chances of obtaining fair compensation for injuries or property damage. Fill out the Free Case Evaluation to get connected with an independent personal injury attorney who subscribes to the website and may be able to help with your case!