How Do Insurance Companies Establish Fault in an Auto Accident

How do insurance companies determine fault in an auto accident? Let us count the ways.

That is, it’s a complicated process and there’s no single method that’s used every time to determine fault. It may even take a combination of legal processes plus multiple parties involved to discover the truth.

The worst part is that the “truth” doesn’t always win. Sometimes the verdict isn’t fair. But also, it can sometimes be contested.

Confused yet? Don’t worry. We’re about to make it all clear.

The following guide illustrates the many ways fault is determined in an accident as well as what might happen next. To get a better understanding of how fault is designated after an auto accident, read on.

  1. Driver Admission

Since determining fault is usually difficult, here’s kind of a cheap trick insurance companies often use to make it easier. If either driver admits fault while exchanging information, it’s legally binding.

This is why you never want to do this. Even if the other driver was asleep at the wheel, ran a red light, and plowed into you while you were stopped, your admission of fault could implicate you over them.

You may think you’re just being polite by saying, “No, no, it was my fault. I should have honked to warn you that you were getting too close.” But if you do this, you better be prepared to put your money where your mouth is.

Better yet, just keep your mouth shut except to exchange information. For that matter, here are some more tips on what to do after a no fault accident.

  1. The Insurance Companies Use Your Evidence to Determine Fault.

You and the other driver should be collecting evidence (taking pictures) and exchanging information yourselves. This helps prove who is at fault. Both drivers’ insurance companies will evaluate this evidence, along with the police report, to determine who caused the accident.

  1. The Police Report Clarifies Who’s At Fault

As mentioned, the drivers aren’t the only ones collecting information. The police will review the scene and interview all drivers involved and any witnesses who observed the accident. This information could be conclusive enough on its own to reveal who’s at fault.

  1. How Do Insurance Companies Determine Fault in a No-Fault State?

If you live in a no-fault state, it may seem like fault doesn’t matter because both drivers’ insurance companies pay for the damages. However, it’s still possible to sue or get other recompense in a no-fault state under certain conditions. For example, serious injury or extensive property damage may allow the driver who didn’t cause the accident some legal recourse.

Thus, fault is still determined in no-fault states using the methods above. But it only sometimes makes a difference.

Remember and Refer This Guide

We hope we’ve made this complicated process a little more understandable for you. Remember this vital information next time you’re in an auto accident.

Also, do you know anyone else who’s wondering, “How do insurance companies determine fault after an accident?” If so, please refer them to this blog.

Need some more legal advice? We have a blog for that. Click “Legal Advice” on the menu bar at the top of this page for more posts like this one.

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