Determining Car Accident Fault: The Basics Explained

Determining Car Accident Fault: The Basics Explained

As it turns out, human error causes approximately 95% of car accidents. This means that the vast majority of car accidents are preventable. In the event that a car accident causes property damage or injury to another person, one of the drivers will be found at fault because of this.

Continue reading to learn who determines fault and how fault is determined.

Who Determines Fault After a Car Accident?

In most cases, you will find that the insurance company will determine fault after an accident. Insurance adjustors will come out to assess the damage and gather the evidence. Then, they will make an informed decision. Yet, this is not always the case.

In the case of police suspicion or filed lawsuits, a combination of decisions will determine who is at fault following a car accident.

While a police officer will likely be the first to the scene of an accident to assess the situation, they may not be able to determine fault. Their police report may play a part in the final ruling. Drivers can also come forward to admit that they are at fault without going to trial. Once a case makes its way to trial, fault is determined by a judge, sometimes accompanied by a jury.

It boils down to whether one of the drivers in the accident were acting in a negligent manner.

personal injury protection

What Determines Car Accident Fault?

A car accident that results in property damage or personal injury to another person likely stems from the negligent behavior of the driver. Behaviors such as rear-ending someone else’s vehicle, disregarding traffic laws, and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Your state’s insurance guidelines and evidence gathered will factor into the fault determination.

Gathering Evidence

Statements from witnesses uninfluenced by a personal relationship with either of the drivers can go a long way in determining fault. Law enforcement will gather any evidence, including witness statements, from the scene of the accident. This will help to prove who was responsible for the accident.

No-Fault vs At-Fault States

No-fault states require each driver to file their own claim regardless of who was responsible for the accident. They have to have personal injury protection as part of their policy. These states may also allow motorists to sue for injuries under certain criteria.

Some states will not supply compensation for an injured party who was at all in fault of the resulting car accident. States that follow a comparative fault may reduce the injured party’s compensation based on the amount of responsibility that they had in the accident.

Common Accident Injuries Reported in Fault Cases

The most common injuries obtained in these accidents are traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, burns, paralysis, and broken/fractured bones. Click to learn more about these injury types and how a personal injury lawyer can help you get the compensation that you deserve.

Car Accidents Can Be Complicated

From negligent behavior and serious injuries to insurance claims and lawsuits, determining car accident fault can be a complicated and confusing process. It is important to be aware of your state’s laws regarding car accidents before you find yourself amidst the confusion.

If you found this post to be helpful, make sure to check out our other posts on law for more.