The first thing many want to know about a car accident is who was at fault. Fault is not just a matter of curiosity, though, it plays a big part in how accident claims are paid out. To learn why this aspect of a case is so important, read on to find out more about the fault factor.
There are a few people interested in your accident and who caused it, namely the insurers. That is because if their client caused the wreck, they will be the ones paying medical expenses, vehicle repairs, and more. The issue of fault is investigated on several fronts. Take a look at what is usually done to determine fault in a car accident case.
Your Take on Things
Both you and the other driver will be asked what happened right before the accident occurred. If you are able to provide the law enforcement officer with a statement at the scene, you will be asked to do so. The other driver will be interviewed, too, along with the passengers. When it comes to injuries and dealing with the shock and trauma of the accident, driver and passenger statements may not end up being the most accurate way to determine fault. You and the other parties may also be interviewed by the insurance claims adjuster at a later date.
In most cases, someone else saw the accident happen. Bystanders and the occupants of other cars may stop to assist and then hang around to be questioned about what they observed. The more eye-witnesses law enforcement can locate, the better. Neutral, third-party accounts of the accident are highly valued and officers use a compilation of statements to assign fault.
Traffic Law Violations
In most cases, the responding officer will determine whether or not anyone broke a traffic law in connection with the accident. If so, it's highly likely that the driver who is cited will also be assigned the blame for the wreck.
Accident Scene Indicators
Along with statements, the accident scene may also provide clues as to how the accident occurred. Such signs can be seen on the road with skid marks, on the vehicles with the location of damage, and on the roadside if trees, signs, or other objects have been struck.
More In-depth Information
When the responding officer has completed the initial investigation and the parties disagree with the findings, more investigation could be in order. Accident investigation specialists use photographs of the scene and other indicators to reconstruct the accident using computer modeling. They may testify at a trial or they may submit their report to either side to use as evidence in settlement talks.
Speak to a company like Nelson Fromer & Crocco Law Offices to learn more about fault and how it will affect your compensation.