Have you been involved in an auto accidentt? If you’re confused about what to do next it is ok to think this way. You should know that while accidents are the worst things that can happen to you since they result in injuries, damage or even death, there’s a way to mitigate those consequences.
Make sure the accident wasn’t your fault, if it was not there are things that you should put into consideration. If you’re at fault, there are steps you should follow and if you’re unsure about the party at fault in this situation, then there’s no need to worry. They’re always things to help figure out what to do after an auto accident
Accidents are quite common occurrences and they’re ways to protect yourself after an accident. You should take clear pictures of the scene of the accident including that of the damage to the vehicles.
Having clear photos of your vehicle, that of the other party, license plate number and even photos of any parties involved like the other driver or anyone else in the car is important. Below are a few things to consider when determining fault in an accident;
1. What to Do After an Accident?
After an accident, the first and most important thing you should do is stop. There’s no need to run from the scene no matter who is at fault. Stop and don’t move your vehicle. If it’s a must to move, take photos of evidence of the car’s previous location. Since location is relevant in proving who is at fault
You should then call the police since help from a police officer helps protect you from dishonest people
It’s also important to not admit fault immediately after an accident since any statement you make in your state can be detrimental to you in the future
You should also make sure to locate the witnesses and take their names and phone numbers for them to be easily located and interviewed later on
Don’t forget to exchange information with the other driver. Make sure you get information like the insurance company name and policy numbers. Since accidents are compensated by insurance companies you will need this information.
2. Who Is At Fault In An Accident?
Fault in an accident refers to the party that caused the accident. For example, if you’re rear-ended at a stoplight, determining fault is clear and easy than in other situations where there’s no clear answer as to who is at fault
Hence in such situations, the insurance company has to come in and determine who caused the accident. However, sometimes it’s not as straightforward as it seems because different states have different ways of determining fault when it comes to car insurance online
3. Fault or No-Fault Accident
Different states have different insurance laws. Some are fault states while others are no-fault states.
Fault states are based on tort liability whereby insurance companies pay for the damages resulting from an accident depending on the degree of fault of each party. This means that the party who caused the accident is responsible for the damages to another driver
No-fault insurance is where each insurance company compensates its policyholder for any injuries or damages sustained regardless of the party at fault for the accident
4. Damage in Accidents
It’s important to determine damage in car accidents. This is because by looking at the damage to your car, you can determine how the accident happened hence figure out who is at fault by recreating the crash
For example, when a car is damaged in the front bumper, it usually means there was a head-on collision. However, to determine that you were rear-ended, your back bumper should have damage and the car you got into an accident with should have damage on the front bumper
It’s important not to use damage alone to determine fault since sometimes damage alone can’t determine fault
5. Make Sure to Preserve the Evidence
You have to keep your vehicle in the state that it was in the accident. To document the accident, don’t forget to call the police.
Therefore make sure you have evidence of everything at the scene. Whatever you might think of as relevant, document it because you might need it later on as evidence
6. Having Broken Many Traffic Laws
If you have violated any traffic laws, they may be used against you in proving you caused the accident
These violations may include running a stop sign, speeding or more, so it’s important to research whether some violations apply in your circumstance since laws vary in different states
7. The Police Report Could Include Who Is At Fault?
The police will examine the accident scene and look for evidence. The police will use the information in determining fault in the accident. A police officer is required to take a police report of the witness’s recount of the event. They can do this by speaking to both parties to get their stories. Officers will also talk to the witnesses and they analyze the damages. They then use the location of each car and the damages sustained with the stories of each party to determine fault
Hence the report contains information about whether the other party was given a citation or which one the officer believes to be responsible
8. How Do Insurance Companies Determine Fault?
Insurance companies are responsible for investigating an accident by taking statements from the drivers, passengers and any witnesses. They also look at the photos of the scene of the accident as well as the damage caused
After obtaining all of the information, the insurance company then determines how the accident happened, what caused it and who is at fault when determining online car insurance
9. How Courts Determine Who Is At Fault?
Most car accidents are settled outside of court but if your case requires you to sue the other party for car insurance online, a judge or jury is responsible for determining fault by seeing if the defendant was negligent
The court will make a decision on its own based on the facts, evidence and the arguments therein
All in all, all states have different laws and rules and it’s important to hire a personal injury lawyer and discuss your rights
Quotes Pilot content is not written by a licensed insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for your situation