Auto Accidents: Who is at Fault?

After a wreck happens usually police arrive on the scene to investigate. If the wreck is serious, officers may make measurement to determine fault in a car accident. What you may not know is that sometimes the insurance company’s opinion may override the auto insurance claim report. While this doesn’t happen often, it can happen. And insurance companies don’t take this responsibility lightly. Representatives are trained to investigate accidents and make these rulings. Keep in mind that usually two different (or more if it is a multi-vehicle wreck) are involved.

Determining Accident Fault & Insurance Investigations

  • The first element is an analysis as to what the drivers were doing at the time of the wreck. Were the car crashes related to cell phone use? Did the driver try to avoid having an accident? Did the driver obey all the traffic laws? These are called “driver duties” by some insurance companies.
  • Did the driver “breach” any of those duties?
  • What actually caused the accident? Sometimes even if the driver appears to be not at fault car accident, that is not the case. For example, if a drunk driver is on the highway and is hit head on by someone driving on the wrong side of the road, who is at fault? Would the drunk driver made it home safely if he hadn’t been hit by the driver breaking the traffic laws?
  • Finally, what were the damages in the wreck? The damages must have been caused by the driver that was determined to be at fault.

If the accident is not your fault:

Your expenses should be covered by the other driver’s policy. However, this doesn’t always happen. In that case, you may need to seek legal action to recover your expenses for damage to the vehicle and medical bills if you were injured. You may be approached by the other driver’s insurance company about a possible settlement. DON’T agree to anything until you have consulted with an attorney.

If you disagree with the fault ruling:

You don’t have to agree with the insurance company’s ruling. You can appeal and you should. According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, if you are found at fault, you will have to pay for your own expenses. If your insurance company won’t budge, seek legal advice. Again, don’t agree to anything until you have talked to an attorney.