Even if you have been through the trauma of a car crash, it is not always clear as to how the police and insurance companies determine who is at fault. Determining fault is crucial for many reasons, but it is not always easy to do, nor is it always transparent. Hopefully, we can help shed some light on how it is done.
Who determines fault?
Believe it or not, in the majority of car crash situations, it is determined by the insurance companies who cover the drivers involved in the crash, to determine who was at fault. When insurance companies investigate a crash, they take some important factors into consideration:
- They look at the statements the drivers make
- They review and interpret police reports, or any other evidence gathered about the crash
- They can, and do perform their own reconstruction of the accident
In order to determine fault, your insurance company has to find out who was acting negligently. In legal terms, negligence is defined as someone acting carelessly or in a manner that is divergent to the way a driver should act in those circumstances. Some car accidents are easy to determine fault or negligence because it is very obvious. For example, if someone runs through a red light and crashes into your vehicle, that driver was obviously driving negligently. In such cases it does not take long for the insurance companies to determine fault. These types of accidents leave almost no room for doubt as to who caused the collision. However, many cases are not as clear-cut.
Police reports can be a significant factor in determining who was at fault. Whenever the police investigate an accident, the findings are a matter of record because they must file a written report. In that report, the police gather specific details about the accident such as whether one or more of the drivers committed an infraction, or if there was alcohol involved. Infractions are another term for traffic violations. For example, if the driver next to you suddenly decides to cross over into your lane and causes a collision, that driver has probably committed the violation of inattentive driving. In such cases, it is common that the police will issue the unsafe driver a traffic citation. If the police report reveals that the officer determined that a driver committed an infraction and caused the accident, insurance companies are likely to determine that the driver who was cited is at fault. However, no two car accidents are ever the same. If you are injured in a car crash and wonder if you can recover any of the damages, you should call a Charlotte Car Accident attorney as soon as possible.
Have you been injured in a car accident?
The Olive Law Firm of Charlotte, NC has handled thousands of personal and accident injury cases. Their attorneys have more than 57 years of experience helping victims all over North Carolina. The Olive Law Firm has the resources to pursue a case and take it to trial, giving their clients the best possible results. Their attorneys are experienced and qualified representatives for many types of injury claims; including car accidents, pedestrian accidents, trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, premises liability and more. Are you injured from a recent car crash? Contact a personal injury attorney from The Olive Law Firm for a free consultation.