Car accidents occur every day. Every time you turn on your vehicle and pull onto the road, somewhere in your city or town, a car accident has likely either already occurred or is about to.
How fault is determined in a car accident is important. It will determine who will cover expenses relating to personal injuries. Fault will assign blame for the accident, providing valuable information that can be used in any insurance or legal disputes.
Here is how fault is determined in a car accident:
When You Don’t Know Who Is At Fault
Although some drivers will refuse to accept fault, knowing that doing so is likely to increase their insurance premiums, sometimes, it is difficult to understand who is at fault. The approach to calculating and determining fault varies depending on the claim, only adding to the confusion.
You can also be found partially at fault. If this is you, the degree of fault you’re assigned will impact what you’re able to recover from an accident.
If a Driver Admits Fault
Some drivers will purposefully or accidentally admit fault following an accident. An apology is potentially considered a statement admitting fault. If a police officer overhears it, make sure it’s noted in the accident report.
If there is a phone call to the other driver’s insurance company, kindly ask the driver to confirm on the phone that they are at fault. An admission of fault preserved as evidence can make the insurance claims process smoother. To protect your interests, you should contact a car accident lawyer like Franklin Law Firm if you’re at fault in a car accident.
When A Driver Is Struck From Behind
If your automobile is struck from the rear by another vehicle when travelling in the same direction and the same line, the rear driver is at fault. It doesn’t matter if the front vehicle is stopped or in forwarding motion. The car might be turning into a side road or a driveway, or if the automobile had to stop abruptly. As insurance companies see, the driver in the rear caused the collision.
When There Are Multiple Accidents
Pileups are a crash involving several cars. How fault is calculated in a situation like this is as follows. Let’s assume there are three cars – “A,” “B,” and “C.” “A” is struck from the rear by “B,” and “C” does the same to B. Assuming all three are travelling in the same direction and are in the same lane, “A” is not at fault, just like the prior scenario. “B” will be considered 50% at fault in its collision with “A” while “C” IS 100% at fault in its collision with “B.”
Two Cars Colliding Going the Same Direction
If two vehicles are travelling in the same direction in adjacent lanes and “A” turns left at an intersection, with “B” overtaking the vehicle to pass them, and there’s an accident, “A” is considered 25% at fault. At the same time, “B” is 75% at fault. That said, if “A” is turning into a private road or driveway, the fault is then split 50-50 between both drivers.
Insufficient Evidence & Fault Dispute
If the details of the accident cannot be agreed upon, this can cause a lot of disagreements about the fault. Alternatively, if there is insufficient information about a collision to determine what occurred, the courts assign the fault.
How that’s done is by evidence showing who was negligent. If negligence caused the accident, the fault is assigned accordingly.
Examples of Negligence in Car Accident
Negligence can be many things. It can be speeding or running a red light. It can be failing to keep a proper lookout or related to distracted driving. It can also be not using headlights when driving at night. It can be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Any action that creates a hazard or directly or indirectly contributes to an accident can be put forth in an argument to declare fault.
Proving Aggressive Driving
Although aggressive driving is against the law, it’s also notoriously difficult to prove. Assigning fault to someone because you considered their driving aggressive is not enough without evidence. That said, if there is evidence and it’s clear the driver was violating several rules of the road at once – i.e. speeding, not using turn signals, tailgating, and cutting off other drivers – this can contribute to an argument for who is at fault.
Other Factors Affecting Fault
Depending on the claim, weather conditions, road conditions, and visibility can influence who is considered a fault. If roads are not properly maintained, this could equate to negligence on the city or municipal government.
When there’s a defective car part involved, this could be negligence on the part of a car manufacturer. This sort of negligence can take a lot of time and investigation to work out, necessitating the involvement of a lawyer.