Fault in car accidents is determined by the insurance adjuster only after reviewing police reports and relevant evidence. Questions will be asked about what happened with the purpose of building a narrative of the events. After determining the party responsible, fault percentages are assigned. Based on state laws and fault percentages, compensation can be pursued.
In some US states, you can obtain compensation if you were considered to be partly at fault. In others, this is not possible. When you do not agree with the fault assignment of the insurance company, you can get in touch with an attorney for car accidents to build a strong case for you.
Auto Accident Fault
The police will come to the scene of the accident whenever property damage or bodily injury appears. Then, a report is written. Police officers examine all physical evidence, talk to witnesses, and the drivers involved. This allows them to summarize what happened, including the party that is responsible.
What you might not know is that although the police report is very valuable for liability assignment, it will not fully determine the party at fault. The insurance company will also analyze all the other evidence they can find. Pursuing compensation is all about you are at fault, hold partial fault, or you have no fault. Also, the laws in the area where the accident took place will influence your available compensation options.
State Liability Laws
There are different methods used to assign car accident liability in different US states. In many of them, the comparative fault system applies. This means every single driver involved will be assigned a percentage of the fault, according to what insurance company investigators conclude.
For comparative negligence, you can collect damages based on the liability share you and the other people involved have. In modified comparative negligence US states, you cannot obtain compensation in the event that your liability is higher than 51%. We also have contributory negligence in some states, which practically means that when you have any liability, you become ineligible for compensation.
PIP – Personal Injury Protection
In the US states with personal injury protection laws, the victim of the car accident has to file a claim with the insurance company that they work with. It does not matter who the party at fault was. The PIP states are mandating that every single driver will carry such insurance, with specific minimums put in place.
After your insurance company will pay out to the dictated level, you will be able to go after other parties involved in the accident and their insurance companies so that you can obtain remaining losses. For instance, this is something required in Florida since it is a Personal Injury Protection state.
As you can easily notice, some of the laws can be quite complicated. This is why it is so important to hire a car accident attorney that can guide you through the process and that can take care of all the legal paperwork for you. In the meantime, you can focus on recovering from your injuries.