How is Fault Determined in a Car Accident?

image of a car crash

Various factors determine who is at fault and liable for the damages caused by a car accident. For example, when you get injured in a crash because another driver cuts in front of you, that driver will probably be found at fault for the crash. But you may also share fault if you were speeding or driving distractedly when the crash occurred. Determining fault for a car crash is immensely important because the injured driver can pursue compensation for all the losses they incurred because of the crash.

The Police Can Help Determine Fault in Car Accidents

The police report, which is based on the responding officer’s investigation of the crash, will usually contain information about what could have caused the crash. However, many police reports don’t include a determination of which party is at fault for an accident. But even if the report indicates which party caused the crash, this doesn’t automatically mean the individual will be held liable for the other party’s damages. 

In some cases, police officers issue traffic violations. While a ticket will not officially prove the other driver’s fault and liability, your Sarasota car accident attorney can use the citation as proof of the other driver‘s negligence.

The Insurance Companies Also Help Determine Fault in Car Crashes

When a car accident victim files a claim with their insurer or the other party’s insurer, the insurer will assign an insurance claims adjuster to the case. The claims adjuster will investigate the car crash and handle the settlement of the claim. Like the police, they will investigate all aspects of the crash, talk to witnesses, document the accident scene, look at vehicle damage, and check the claimant’s injuries. The claims adjuster will then determine which party caused the crash and may assign the claimant a share of the fault, depending on the circumstances.

What If The Car Accident Claim Goes to Court?

The vast majority of car accident claims are settled out of court. However, if your claim heads to trial, it would be up to the jury or judge to determine the fault for the accident by considering whether the other driver was negligent. The court will evaluate the evidence and arguments of all the parties and determine which party was at fault and must be held liable for the resulting damages.

Reach Out to a Top Sarasota Car Accident Attorney Today

Dealing with the police, insurance providers, adjusters, the other party’s lawyers, your injuries, and a possible lawsuit can be daunting, especially if you’re severely injured and out of work. If you believe that the accident was caused by another driver’s negligence, you should discuss your case with a Sarasota car accident attorney right away.

They can offer valuable legal guidance and protect your rights to ensure that the at-fault party’s insurance provider will not take advantage of you. To learn more about your claim, please contact Matthews Injury Law online or by phone at 941-877-5800 and set up your free case review with our Sarasota car accident attorney.