Accidents are unexpected, unintentional, dangerous, and sometimes even fatal. No one wants to endure a car accident, but no one can predict when one will occur. Therefore, it’s essential to educate yourself on how insurance companies handle a car accident.
How do insurance companies investigate a car accident claim?
The most important factor car accident insurance companies use in determining what actually happened and who is at fault is the police report. Individual claims from each party involved may conflict with other information or contain personal bias. Additionally, insurers also use any evidence gathered by you to support any claims of fault or deniability further. Therefore, taking photos of the scene and all cars involved, gathering information from other drivers and witnesses, and any other pertinent info can help insurers properly assess the situation.
One thing you do not want to do when cooperating with the police and insurance companies is to admit you are at fault. Even if you think you may be the at-fault driver, you may be unaware of other factors that could be the real cause of your accident. Give only facts and relevant information and let the insurers come to their own objective conclusions. If you need a car accident attorney, contact Joshi & Patel.
How do insurance companies determine fault?
The majority of U.S. states follow a fault-based system. In this system, the at-fault driver is usually responsible for repairs, expenses, and losses through their insurer’s liability coverage.
However, insurers usually determine fault via the state’s legal definition of negligence. There are three main types of negligence used to help assess fault in at-fault states.
1 Strict Comparative Negligence: With comparative negligence, both parties can be found partially at fault for a given accident. With strict comparative negligence, your percentage at-fault directly determines how much compensation you can seek from the other insurance company. For example, if you are found 70% at fault for an accident, you could still seek up to 30% of your losses to be recouped.
2 Modified Comparative Negligence: Some states use a modified form of comparative negligence, which limits your ability you recoup loses. For example, Illinois drivers can only seek retribution for their losses if they are found to be less than 50% at fault.
3 Pure Contributory Negligence: This form of negligence requires a driver to be 100% faultless to recoup any damages. For states with a pure contributory definition of negligence, determining fault is all or nothing. Even if you are only determined to be 5% at fault for an accident, pure contributory negligence states you cannot recoup damages.
Will insurance still pay for my car if it is my fault?
There are, in fact, some states that follow a no-fault system of insurance laws. These states may require you to purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP). With no-fault systems, each party’s insurer pays damages up to a certain threshold. Property damage, however, is still fault-based.
Nevertheless, whether or not insurance pays for damages to your car if it is your fault depends on your coverage. Liability coverage only pays for the other party’s losses, leaving you responsible for any personal medical expenses or damage costs. Full coverage, as implied by its name, covers the at-fault damages for all parties involved.
Even if you are at fault and your insurance is required to pay the damages, this doesn’t mean your insurance rates will go up. Insurers often look at your accident history, previous claims, driving record, and situation circumstances before deciding to raise your rates.
Seeking legal representation is a potential step if you are involved in a car accident.
In the unfortunate case of a car accident, you’ll need to hire the best car accident attorneys, Joshi & Patel to obtain the automobile accident compensation and justice you deserve. Joshi & Patel offer a free case evaluation, no obligation consultation. Once it has been determined that you have a case, we will work for you on a contingent fee basis. In other words, you don’t pay your car attorney fees up-front. Instead, you sign an agreement to pay us a percentage of your settlement amount. You pay us absolutely nothing unless you recover.
**Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.