- 1 How to Tell Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident
- 2 How to Prove a Car Accident Wasn’t Your Fault
- 3 Who Is at Fault in a Rear-End Collision?
- 4 Different Approaches to Determining Fault
- 5 Police Process for Determining Fault
- 6 Insurance Companies Process for Determining Fault
- 7 Court Process for Determining Fault
- 8 Drive with Confidence
Are you overdue for a car crash?
While that’s a terrifying thought, Research shows that on average, you’ll experience some type of car accident every 17.9 years.
That means if you got your license when you were 16, statistics say you’ll experience a crash by the time you turn 34 years old.
Hopefully, statistics are wrong, and you’ll never have to deal with the aftermath of a car crash.
However, since you’re reading this article, it’s likely a car accident is already affecting your life in some way.
For those looking to prepare for possible car accidents or repair after one, we can help.
Read on to find out how to tell who is at fault in a car accident.
How to Tell Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident
To understand how to tell who is at fault in a car accident, you first have to understand how the law defines fault.
To determine a driver is at fault, there has to be proof of negligence or carelessness.
Sometimes, it’s obvious what party acted carelessly, making it easy to determine fault.
For instance, if a driver is driving drunk, and they strike another vehicle, the drunk driver is clearly at fault for negligence.
However, not every car crash is so clear cut.
When car accidents get complicated, you may find yourself having to prove your innocence.
How to Prove a Car Accident Wasn’t Your Fault
It doesn’t matter what type of car accident you’re in, you should always gather evidence to prove your innocence.
If there’s a lot of injuries or damages, find a car accident attorney who will fight for you.
An experienced lawyer will be able to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Even when the other driver is clearly at fault, their insurance company may try to reduce your claim by assigning some of the liability to you.
If you don’t gather the right evidence, the payout you receive for your damages and injuries could suffer.
To prevent insurance adjusters from assigning any liability to you, you’ll need to do your due diligence to prove your innocence.
How can you do prove a car accident isn’t your fault?
Photographs are one of the best ways.
After calling the police, you’ll want to start gathering your own photographic evidence.
First, take photos with your cell phone at the accident scene.
You’ll want to take pictures of your car, the other car, and the positions of all the cars at the scene.
Next, take any photos of the road, and any obstructions that might be in it.
If you or any passengers have injuries, it’s a good idea to get photos of the injuries as well.
Finally, get photos showing the street signs, as well as photos that show what the weather was like.
Who Is at Fault in a Rear-End Collision?
Determining fault in a rear-end collision is often an easy process.
First, the law almost always supports the driver up front.
Second, the vehicle damage typically makes it clear who’s at fault.
If one car has damage to the front of their vehicle, and the other car has damage to the rear of their vehicle, it’s easy to see who hit who.
Now, it’s possible for the rear driver to argue that they did so because the upfront driver stopped too quickly.
The rear driver may also argue, that they hit the car in front of them because a car behind them pushed their vehicle forward.
However, neither argument matters.
When a car hits another car from behind, it’s almost always because they were driving too closely.
Driving to close to the car in front of you, is negligent, and therefore the driver who was tailgating is at fault.
Different Approaches to Determining Fault
When it’s not obvious, who’s at fault, there may be multiple entities trying to make the decision.
Each entity has a different approach when assigning responsibility for the crash.
Police Process for Determining Fault
Police officers start by interviewing the drivers, along with any witnesses that saw the car accident.
Once the police officer determines they have enough information, they’ll turn in their report.
Inside the police report, there may be a statement about who’s at fault based on the officer’s professional opinion.
However, it’s important to understand that not every police report will include a statement about who’s at fault.
Insurance Companies Process for Determining Fault
When someone files a car accident claim with their insurance company, the company finds an adjuster to assign the claim to.
The adjuster is responsible for overseeing the entire investigation surrounding the accident.
The insurance adjuster will speak to witnesses, review medical reports, and study vehicle damage.
After conducting their investigation, the adjuster uses a percentage system to determine fault.
Instead of assigning 100% fault to any 1 driver, the adjustor will split the fault up, based on their investigation.
By splitting up the fault, insurance companies can reduce payouts to the injured parties.
Court Process for Determining Fault
When someone files a lawsuit after a car accident, it’s up to the court system to determine who is at fault.
When this happens, the court will make their decision by deciding whether or not the defendant was negligent.
A judge or a jury will make their determination based on the evidence provided.
Drive with Confidence
Now you know the truth about how to tell who is at fault in a car accident.
What’s 1 new thing you were able to learn from our article today?
Was it the fact that police don’t always determine fault, or were you able to get a better understanding of how insurance adjusters operate?
The more you understand about how to deal with the aftermath of an accident, the easier it is to drive with confidence.
For more information to make your life easier, go ahead and read a few more of our articles.