How Is Fault in a Car Accident Determined?

Fault in a Car Accident

Annually, 4.4 million individuals get injured seriously enough to require medical attention due to a car accident. Whether you sustained an injury or not, understanding your state’s negligence laws is essential to filing a claim. Even if you are somewhat at fault, you may be eligible for compensation.

Read our guide to learn how a car accident’s fault gets determined and the laws behind it.

At-Fault Car Accident

States that don’t have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage laws have at-fault car accidents. The driver at fault must have car insurance that covers property damage claims and injury.

A good example is when you are at fault because you hit a parked car. The car liability coverage that you have gets used to pair the repairs the other driver makes.

After experiencing a car accident fault, it is essential to take certain steps and follow the law. First, make sure everyone is safe, then call the police to file a report. And, if your vehicle is damaged beyond repair, then you can use a rental accident replacement car until you purchase a new or second hand vehicle.

Accident details should be recorded, and you must exchange information with any other drivers involved. These steps are essential to prepare you when a car accident claim gets filed.

How Is Fault in a Car Accident Determined?

Car accident fault is determined by the insurance company depending on state laws and accident details. State negligence laws also affect how fault gets determined. These factors will explain how claims get paid out as well.

A car accident is not always the fault of one person. If this is the case, the insurer will assign blame as a percentage to the parties involved. You recoup your car accident claim depending on the degree to which you are found negligent for the accident.

Comparative Negligence

States that use comparative negligence allow you to get your expenses based on the other driver’s degree of responsibility. If the other driver is 60% at fault for the accident, their insurance should pay up to that amount for repairs and medical expenses.

Even if you sustain a car accident injury, you must pay part of your bills if your state has comparative negligence laws. If you want to fight these claims, you need the best accident lawyer by your side.

Modified Comparative Negligence

If you are more than 50% at fault for the accident, you cannot recoup expenses in states that use modified comparative negligence. This means even if the other driver has a partial fault in the accident, you are required to pay your own expenses. 

Contributory Negligence

States that follow contributory negligence laws don’t allow you to recoup any expenses if you had any responsibility in the accident. Only a handful of states follow these laws, including Alabama, North Carolina, and South Dakota.

Are You At-Fault in a Car Accident?

Whether you had a fault in a car accident or not, it is essential to know the laws. Getting the correct amount for your claim is possible with the help of a car accident lawyer. Before settling a claim, understand the specific laws in the state your accident was in.

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