It is a scary truth that, at any given point in a person’s life, they may be involved in a car accident. But, if you are involved in a car accident, where do you turn next? How do you determine who is at fault? This helpful guide may come in handy for answering questions you may have before you are able to speak to an attorney.
Who is legally liable for the accident? In general, insurance companies will determine who was at fault (or negligent) for the accident based on a state’s legal definition. This could include comparative or contributory negligence. Comparative negligence refers to your percentage of fault compared to the other party’s. Contributory negligence is an all-or-nothing way of determining fault and who gets to pay for the damages.
How could fault potentially impact my car insurance rates?Insurers tend to look at many various factors in accident cases. Even if the investigation turns up that you were at fault in the accident, that doesn’t mean that your rates will automatically rise. Many things will be taken into consideration like your previous driving record and the circumstances that caused the accident.
What is “No-Doubt” Liability? Some states follow a term called “No-doubt” liability. This is all dependent on the accident, where certain kinds are seen as cut-and-dry and the other driver is at fault 99% of the time. Specific accidents included in this liability are rear-end collisions and left-turn accidents, where it is virtually never seen as your fault.
What should I know about no-fault states and fault-based states? If an accident occurs in a fault state, the at-fault driver’s insurer will typically help pay for repairs and damages. This comes through the driver’s liability coverage. However, in no-fault states, personal injury protection (PIP) may need to be carried to pay for the insured’s medical expenses up to a certain amount.
How can state traffic laws assist me? State traffic laws are often referred to as vehicle code. But how can they help your case? They serve as an excellent way to find support for your argument that the other driver was at fault. These rules of the road can sometimes be available at your local DMV, online at various state government websites, and at public law libraries. When you discover the laws that surround your accident (either by yourself or with the help of your attorney) you are automatically in a better position to negotiate with your or the other driver’s insurance company.
Not every accident will involve a police officer. But if one does come to the scene, they will make some official report about the accident, which you will be able to receive a copy of once it is later filed. You are always entitled to obtain copies of these reports.
It is important to consider all of these factors when assessing your accident and possible personal injury case. As you can see, there are many things to take into consideration such as discovering who should be held liable, what you should know about insurance, and more. You will probably want an attorney on your side who can help you through the complex process. Call WTW today for an assessment of your case!