There’s an excellent chance you’ll be involved in a car accident at some point in your life. Some people are fortunate enough to go their entire lives without being involved in an accident, but there are too many negligent drivers in the world to allow everyone the same benefit. If you are involved in an accident, there are many factors to consider. There’s insurance, medical need, health issues and injuries, repairs, new cars, and so much more. Even a minor fender bender causes major headaches for accident victims by the time all the calls, the arrangements, and the financial stresses are added up.
One of the most stressful aspects of any car accident is figuring out who to blame. You might know you did nothing wrong, but you aren’t the person who gets to determine who caused the accident. Before you panic, here’s how you know who determines who is at-fault in an accident, and here is how they determine that information.
The police are the people responsible for determining fault in most car accidents, but there are always exceptions to the rule. When police are called to the scene of an accident, they’re required to file an accident report. This report contains all pertinent information including the names of both drivers, the location of the accident, insurance information, and their observations.
How police determine responsibility for an accident is simple. They talk to both parties involved to get their stories. They talk to witnesses, and they assess the damage to each car. They use the location of each car and the damage caused and weigh it with the stories they’re told to determine fault. For example, if a car ran into the back of your car while you were stopped at a red light, police can easily determine who caused the accident. If a car cut you off and hit you changing lanes, it’s a little more difficult to determine fault without security footage from nearby cameras or witness statements if the at-fault driver is denying they were the person responsible for the accident.
If the at-fault driver decides to deny responsibility in an accident, the insurance company can review the evidence to determine who is at-fault. This is why it’s imperative you take photos, gather as much evidence as possible, can collect the contact information of all the people who witnessed the accident occur. You want to offer as much evidence and support to the insurance adjuster as you can.
Admission of Fault
The other way fault is determined is simple. If you say you’re sorry to the other driver, you’re admitting fault. Even if you didn’t cause the accident, the other driver can use this against you when they deny responsibility. It’s easy to apologize after an accident, because it’s human nature to apologize for things you did not do. You might apologize to someone in the store who runs right into you because they aren’t looking, because it’s an immediate reaction and feels like a nice thing to say.
Never admit guilt at the scene of an accident. Never apologize, never speak to the person who caused the accident other than to ask if they’re all right or if they need anything. You can gather their personal information and insurance information, but you should always avoid conversation with them if you can.
Call an Attorney
If you are dealing with issues determining fault, call our office. We consult with clients free of charge when they first come to our office, and we can help you with the legal aspect of your car accident. if you want to hire an attorney to investigate the accident and find fault in the other driver’s driving, we can do it. If you want to file a lawsuit, we’ll look at the information and the case you present and let you know if it’s a case worth taking to court. Our attorneys have been handling cases like this for many years, and we are good at what we do in the courtroom. Let us help you by answering your questions and providing legal advice if you are the victim of a car accident.