Who Is At Fault In Your Auto Accident?
When you experience an auto accident, your life goes into chaos. Part of this chaos comes from not knowing who is at fault in the crash. But a personal injury and auto accident lawyer can help you understand who is responsible.
This key information after an auto accident plays a major role in the direction and outcome of your personal injury claim. After all, the responsible parties are also usually financially and legally responsible for the damages you suffer. These damages include your injuries, medical costs, lost income, property damage and other costs. For some accidents, only one driver is at fault. In others, multiple parties can be held legally responsible.
How Fault Is Determined
An Accident lawyer determines fault through several key steps. These steps help clarify who is to blame or negligent in your auto accident, even when people involved disagree about how the accident occurred.
Review By the Insurance Company
Insurance adjusters start their own investigation into how the accident occurred. The insurance company and its adjuster review the evidence and evaluate the accident’s circumstances to figure out who is to blame, their policyholder or another driver.
The Police Report
Police provide a neutral perspective of the auto accident, filing their own comprehensive report about the accident details. These details include which drivers were cited or ticketed for their part in the wreck. This report also includes the officer’s interpretation of the events and who he or she believes to be at fault.
Local and State Traffic Laws
The traffic laws of your state or municipality often assign responsibility for an auto accident, according to the accident’s sequence of events. Some important laws include speed limits, right of way, merging and yielding rights, and other information. Sometimes states and local lawmakers define who is responsible in certain types of accidents, too. These include rear-end crashes being the fault of the following vehicle, for example.
Other Determining Factors for Fault
Photos of the accident scene, damage on involved vehicles and witness statements are other key elements of determining fault.
Sometimes Drivers Admit Fault
At an accident scene, drivers often admit they were at fault in the accident. You must never do this after your wreck. Even just saying you are sorry for the crash leads others to presume you accept blame. But even after your own accident, you do not have all of the information required to immediately know who holds blame.
Insurance companies often try to use drivers’ words against them when determining fault in the accident. This is why your personal injury lawyer or any other will tell you not to say anything at your accident scene.