Most of the time, those involved in car accidents are quick to blame the other driver as they want to avoid paying for damages as much as they can. Identifying who is at fault for a car accident is one of the most vital things to do for those involved to get proper compensation. However, there are some instances wherein it is difficult to tell who is at fault after a car crash.
How to Determine Who is At Fault in A Car Accident
If you are the primary cause of the accident, then you are still at fault whether or not you did not mean for the collision to happen. But what are the indicators that prove that one is at fault as opposed to the other driver? Below are typical scenarios that drivers do that can determine who is at fault for car accidents:
Rear-ending Another Vehicle.
Most insurance companies will often place fault on the driver who hit the back of another car. Drivers who rear-end another vehicle are not considered at fault during rare circumstances.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Driving under the influence or DUI is both an illegal act and something that can cast considerable doubt on any testimony you give regarding the accident. A DUI is a careless practice, and police and various insurance companies usually have a zero-tolerance policy towards drugs and alcohol.
Disobeying Traffic Lights and Signs
Drivers beating a red light is just one of the most common causes of traffic accidents. Traffic signs and street signals are put in place to regulate traffic. Not following these traffic rules are not only a clear infraction of the law, but is also a reckless act since it might cause major collisions. Drivers who are proven to have not been following traffic rules are often at fault during car accidents.
Using Your Phone While Driving
Approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured each day due to crashes caused by distracted driving in the United States. If anything takes your attention away from driving, from eating, navigating a map, to using your phone to play music or send a message, set these aside while you’re behind the wheel and put 100 percent of your focus on the road.
How Insurance Companies React to Car Accidents
The scenarios mentioned above are just a few of the numerous circumstances insurance companies look at to determine who is held liable after a car accident. After determining who is at fault, however, who gets to pay for the damages and losses and what happens to the driver at fault?
At-Fault vs. No-Fault: Determining Who Pays for Damages
When it comes to determining who pays for damages, you first have to determine what your state laws are regarding this matter. Some states either have ‘At Fault’ or ‘No-Fault’ laws in place regarding who is at fault in car accidents.
Being at fault for the crash means you are liable for the losses of the other drivers, passengers, and other people harmed by the accident. These liabilities include vehicle damages and repairs, lost wages due to missed work days, medical bills, and pain and suffering. In these states, fault is a primary factor in accidents. No-Fault states, on the other hand, do not consider fault as a primary factor. This would mean the damages and injuries sustained by each party are paid for by their respective insurance policies regardless of who was at fault.
The At-Fault system is generally considered the fairer one between the two since the No-Fault system can make the victims of the car crash pay for damages even if they did not do anything wrong. This would then subsequently result in a price hike for that victim’s insurance. On the other hand, driving in No-Fault states can be less complicated when it comes to getting medical bills and car repairs paid for. Insurance can be claimed much quicker than suing the at-fault driver for damages that can take years to settle.
Below is a list of states with No-Fault auto insurance laws in effect:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
Seek Legal Assistance from a Car Accident Attorney
The best way to avoid causing car accidents is to obey the traffic laws at all times. Setting aside your phone while driving, for example, goes a long way as it can distract your attention from the road significantly. However, there will be some instances when accidents will happen, no matter how cautious you are.
If you get involved in a car accident and live in a state that has At Fault laws in place, make sure you get proper legal representation to ensure you get adequate compensation from those at fault. Mesriani Law Group has a roster of seasoned car accident lawyers and attorneys in Los Angeles ready to take on your case and make sure you get the justice you deserve. We offer a No Win, No Fee policy, which means you don’t need to pay upfront until your claims have been settled. Contact our office now and get a free consultation.