An accident can have unimaginable consequences. Besides the possibility of getting injured, you may also feel frightened and worried about the loss of your personal property and the hit to your financial circumstances. Your fear might increase if you suspect you were, if not fully, at least partly at fault for the accident and what this might entail. If so, a good place to start getting answers is by reaching out to an accident lawyer who can help clarify your situation and explain the legal options available to you.
In general, you can expect that the consequences of being partly at fault for an accident will depend on the details of your insurance policy and on the state where you live.
How Is Fault Determined in a Car Accident?
Ultimately, it is the insurance companies of the drivers involved in the accident who will decide who was at fault. Based on what the insurance companies understand as to what happened and on each driver’s specific actions or inactions, each party will be assigned a percentage of fault.
The insurance company will assign an adjuster to the case and they will be in charge of determining the degree of fault. They will evaluate the circumstances surrounding the collision but in due course will defer to state laws to determine where negligence lies.
Once fault is determined, the insurance company will pay the portion of the insured driver’s share. This means that if one of the drivers were found to be 70% at fault, their insurance would pay 70% of the damages. The other insurance company will pay the other driver 30% of the settlement. However, there are cases where the insurance company of the driver who was most at fault will pay the whole claim.
What Should You Do After an Accident Where You Might Be Found to Be Partly at Fault?
After being in an accident and believing you might be somehow to blame for what happened, it is essential to remain calm and not lose your cool. You may believe one thing but when the police arrive at the scene and issue an accident report based on their findings, the conclusion might differ.
That is why it is so important to answer all the questions from the authorities in a courteous but short manner. Speculating as to what happened may move the needle in your direction where before the police might have thought that the other driver was at fault.
When exchanging information with the other driver or when emergency personnel arrive at the scene to transport injured victims to the emergency room, do not engage in conversation with them. Remember that anything you say may later be used against you and that the other driver is not your friend in these circumstances.
If you believe you are at fault or if the police conclude the same, let your accident attorney fight for your rights.