Determining Fault in a Car Accident

When you get into a car accident, it’s easy to think that your case is relatively straightforward. You expect the other driver’s insurance to compensate you for your injuries. But does it work that way all the time? The answer is no. Determining who is at fault in a car accident takes lots of investigative work.

People rush to blame drivers after a car accident. However, factors such as poor road designs or manufacturing defects in a vehicle can be the cause of an accident. If you aren’t sure who’s at fault for your injuries, here’s how to determine that.

Talking to the Drivers Involved in the Accident

Determining fault in an accident where there are no witnesses is hard. The best chance of knowing who caused the accident is to talk to the drivers. In some cases, a driver will admit guilt straight away. At other times, the drivers would accuse each other.

It will help if you take pictures of the scene immediately after the accident. Photos can be vital in proving your innocence if the other driver accuses you of being at fault. Make notes of what occurred so that when the police arrive, you have fresh information to defend yourself.

Your Insurance Company

You must contact your insurance company immediately after an accident, even if you are sure you did not cause the accident. Your insurance company will ask for your side of the story. But they won’t take your word as the gospel truth until they send an investigator to corroborate your information. These investigators are thorough in their work. They will talk to all the witnesses and examine each car in the accident.

The other driver’s insurance company will also send an investigator to the accident scene. A report from this investigator is crucial for determining whether or not to fulfill your claim. If you need to find out who caused the accident, read the information from both investigators. They should point to the same party for causing an accident.

Police Report

The police are some of the first responders to an accident. They usually find the accident scene still fresh and full of evidence. The police examine the location and use their skills to determine who might be at fault for an accident. Police officers come in handy in cases where negligence was the cause of an accident. For instance, drunk driving or texting while driving.

The police rely on footage from CCTV cameras to better understand what transpired before an accident. The accident’s location and the damage’s extent are some of the information they include in the report. Your insurance company and the at-fault insurance company use police reports to decide who gets compensation.

Rear-End Collisions

As a rule of thumb, the rear driver is at fault if they hit your vehicle from behind. This rule applies even if you brake suddenly. Traffic rules stipulate that cars should maintain a minimum distance when following each other. Supposing someone knocks you from behind, they most likely need to keep their distance. That’s why they’ll be at fault most of the time.

Admission of Guilt

Some parties in an accident will take responsibility for the accident without a fuss. Finding such people is rare. At times, parties in an accident incriminate themselves inadvertently. For example, by apologizing for the accident immediately after it happens. Many car accident lawyers advise parties in an accident to refrain from commenting about the accident until they get a lawyer. It does not matter if you perceive yourself to be at fault.

Bottom Line

Determining who’s at fault after a car accident is more challenging than it looks on the surface. Many factors at play could lead to an accident. You need to conduct a thorough investigation to find who’s at fault so that you can file for claims with their insurance company.

A police report and testimonies from the drivers could hint at who’s at fault. Also, read reports from the insurance companies as they might have crucial details about what caused the accident.  


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Written by Virily Editor

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