If you have been in a car accident, you may find yourself wondering how to determine who is at fault in a car accident. The truth is, in some car crashes, it is easy to determine who is at fault. In other accidents, determining fault is difficult, and will likely be left up to law enforcement, and in some case, the courts. The driver at fault is the one who acted negligently or carelessly, and as a result caused the accident. The at-fault driver is also the person responsible for any injuries to others as well as any property damage caused by the accident.
On the Scene of the Accident with Law Enforcement
On the scene, following an accident, law enforcement offices will take statements from the drivers involved as well as any witnesses in order to piece together the facts and determine how the accident happened. Officers will also take measurements and document damages to the vehicles involved. Also, photos of the scene, and damages, as well as any available surveillance video from the area are helpful in determining fault.
Once the officer determines all the information has been gathered at the scene, he or she will submit their findings in a report to the police department. The report may include who the officer(in his or her professional judgment) believes was at fault for the accident. Not all reports contain this determination, and even if they do, this does not mean the person is legally responsible for damages if there is a lawsuit. The police office on the scene will also issue citations which accuse the driver(s) of any violations and also indicate any penalty assessed to the driver. Both documents, police reports and citations may be used as evidence in court.
No Accident Report?
If law enforcement is not called to the scene and no accident report is filed, often determination of fault is left to the insurance companies involved. After an insurance claim is filed regarding the accident, the insurance carrier will assign an adjustor to conduct an investigation and settle the claim.
In most cases, there are adjustors for each of the drivers’ insurance carriers working on their respective claims. With all the data gathered, adjustors determine who was at fault based on negligence. Negligence, according to the legal definition, is when a person fails to exercise the caution of a reasonable person in the given circumstances. In some cases, adjustors assign a percentage of fault to all the drivers involved. To get the compensation you deserve, it is best you contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you seek your legal options and fight for your rights.
Contact an Expert Attorney at the Barnes Firm
If you have been in an accident in which you suffered injuries and are concerned about whether you were at fault, a well-qualified personal injury attorney can help. Not only will an expert, experienced attorney, like those at The Barnes Firm Injury Attorneys, provide you with the information and guidance you need, but they will also protect your rights and help you get any compensation you deserve. Call today for your free consultation.