Law Blog

How is Liability Decided in a Car Accident?

Unfortunately, there are high chances that you will be involved in a car accident. You should get help immediately after the accident to avoid long-term and impactful damages. The severity of each accident could be different. 

Although, you must ensure to be aware of the essential factors of an accident. For instance, you must be mindful of how liability or responsibility is determined in a car accident. Assigning fault to an individual or a party could be subjective and complicated. Hence, you would benefit significantly from being aware of the process of transferring liability. 

How would the insurance company determine fault in an accident?

Everyone has an insurance coverage policy nowadays. Once the victim files a claim with their insurance company after encountering a car accident, the insurance company may assign their claim to an adjuster. 

The insurance adjuster may handle the investigation of the accident and will settle the claim once enough evidence is found to assign fault. The adjuster may give a percentage of fault to each driver to conclude by providing responsibility to the driver with a higher rate. 

The fault would be determined based on the legal definition of negligence in the state where the accident occurred. The adjuster may investigate the accident by speaking with the witnesses, checking medical reports, examining vehicle damage, and verifying the driver’s details. 

How is a fault in an accident determined by the police?

The car accident must be reported to the police to determine liability. Once registered, the police will investigate the car accident thoroughly to prepare a police report with the details of the accident. 

The police officer may interview both drivers involved in the accident. The officer may also speak with witnesses about the car accident to collect accurate information about the occurrence of the accident. 

The police report will include a statement assigning fault for the accident based on the police officer’s professional judgment and evidence. Some police reports may not have a statement about the liability. 

If a person is held accountable for an accident in a police report, it does not mean they would be responsible for the same in a legal lawsuit. The traffic citation in the police report might help clarify the situation. 

Generally, the liability of an accident is decided by two entities. Both the police and the insurance company may likely investigate the car accident case to conclude on similar grounds of liability. Once determined, the insurance company may grant the claim amount to the victim. 

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