Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Determining Car Accident Fault: The Basics to Know

The car accident was bad enough, but now you have to deal with insurance and paperwork and maybe even court? The car accident fault may be obvious to you. But that doesn’t mean it will be easy or quick to prove. And deciding who is at fault after a car accident determines where you’ll go from here. Read on to know what this might entail.

Who Will Be Involved?

Those involved decided fault will be your insurance company and law enforcement. Sometimes it may involve the court.

This is because deciding fault is really deciding if anyone was “negligent.” Whoever is the negligent party will be responsible for damages.

Most likely, your car insurance company will assign someone to your accident. Once assigned, they will work with you and any other insurance to decide fault.

They will do this by looking at your state laws first. Some states have their own legal requirements when a car accident happens. For example, some have Small Claims Courts and rules on personal injury claims.

This will affect the type of evidence you’ll need to prove fault.

Your insurance company will take into account your testimony. They will also take anyone else’s who was present for the accident.

Sometimes, whoever was at fault is very clear, and this process won’t take as long. Other times, it’s not as obvious. When that happens, insurance companies may agree on a certain percentage of damages.

If not, this is when the courts come in.

Deciding Fault in Court: Tort States

Deciding auto accident fault in court involves proving the damages.

This could be proving property damage or even personal injury. You will have to prove how those damages came from the direct negligence of the other party involved.

This is known as tort law, and the majority of the states in the US are known as tort states. And that just means that if the insurance can’t decide fault, or you feel like their decision was wrong, you can sue.

If that is the case, this is when you should look into a car accident attorney.

While the insurance company is there to pay and help with the cost of the accident, they aren’t in court for you.

They have their own insurance law and will have their own attornies. So, before you get to court, find out more about getting yourself a car accident attorney.

From there, your attorney will prove that you are not at fault and/or how the other party is.

No-Fault States

Even if the fault is clear, there are some places where that won’t matter.

There are 12 US states that are known as no-fault states.

What that means is this. If you’re in a car accident, neither drive can claim fault. They each must go to their own auto insurance to cover expenses and damages.

But three states give you a choice. Kentucky, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania allow you to choose tort or no-fault coverage.

Proving the Car Accident Fault is Extremely Important

You want to come out of this with peace of mind. To do that, this is what you need to know to prove the car accident fault and move forward.

And don’t forget to check out more of our posts about car accidents and insurances!


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