Being involved in a car accident is an extremely stressful situation, but also very common. Around 400,000 traffic accidents happen every year in the state of Florida alone.
One of the most important elements in unraveling the insurance issues after an accident is identifying which party is to blame for the accident. But how is fault determined in car accidents? Let’s dig deeper into this important issue.
What Is a No Fault Car Accident?
In some states, there are no-fault insurance laws that require drivers to have personal injury protection as part of their car insurance policy. This helps to pay for medical expenses following a car accident, regardless of which party caused the accident.
It’s worth noting, though, that property damage claims are still covered on an at-fault basis in these states. So if your vehicle is damaged in an accident, the insurance cover of the driver who is at fault may cover the cost of repairs.
At Fault Car Accidents
In states that do not have the laws mentioned above, the at-fault driver’s car insurance covers both property damage and injury claims. So clearly it’s important to ascertain which driver is at fault, as the consequences are considerable.
How Is Fault Determined in Car Accidents?
Individual states have different laws around negligence and the allocation of faults in car accidents. Oftentimes, an auto accident is not solely the fault of one driver, but is the result of a combination of errors. Different states use different methods of apportioning fault and cost, depending on their laws.
It can be difficult to determine who is at fault, especially if one or both of the drivers don’t remember exactly what happened, or if their stories don’t match up.
The first thing that you should do if you are involved in a car accident, once you’ve checked that everyone is safe and no one has been injured, is to call the police. An official police report will be needed by your insurance company. You might find that the other driver tries to make a deal, instead of involving the police. But you should never agree to this, as there’s no guarantee that the other driver will stick to their word.
But how do police determine car accident fault? The police can look at the scene of the accident, analyze vehicle damage, take eyewitness accounts and possibly even access CCTV footage. They can use all this evidence to work out if either of the drivers broke the law. Insurance companies have their own investigators, too, and they will decide who pays for the claims made from the accident.
How to Determine Car Accident Fault
Now you know the answer to the question, how is fault determined in car accidents? It’s a complex process, and you may want to get legal advice if you find yourself in this situation.
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