Have you been involved in a car accident and want to know how fault is determined in a car accident? This article shares information about what it means to be at-fault, how fault is determined, and what you should do if you have been injured as a result from a car accident where you were not at-fault.
What Does “Fault” Mean?
When you are “at fault” for a car accident, you are to blame (liable, responsible) for the accident. When it comes to car accident-related insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits, the at-fault driver is the driver who was negligent. If you did something (or failed to do something) that caused an accident, you are at fault. Examples of driver negligence include:
- failing to maintain equipment (brakes, for example)
- rear-ending another car
- driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI)
- driving on the wrong side of the road
- violating a pedestrian’s right of way, and
- texting while driving.
Why Is Fault Important?
In most states, if you are at fault for an accident you (or your insurance company if you have liability coverage) will have to pay for the losses of the other driver, passengers, and anyone else harmed by the accident. Losses include things like car repairs, medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.
In some cases, you might not be the only driver at fault. For example, you might have been making a left turn when a speeding driver coming straight from the other direction plows into you. You were negligent when you failed to yield to oncoming traffic, but the other driver was also negligent for driving too fast. In shared blame situations, your state might use “comparative negligence” to assign a percentage of fault to each driver involved in the accident and each party collects damages equal to their percentage of fault. Or, in a few states with “contributory negligence” laws, you get nothing if you’re found even 1% at fault for an accident.
The issue of fault will come up when you talk to an insurance adjuster after an accident, during car accident settlement negotiations, and in court if you or the other driver files a car accident lawsuit.
How Is Fault Determined in a Car Accident?
Determining fault in a car accident can be a complex process, and it typically involves gathering evidence from the accident scene, interviewing witnesses, reviewing police reports, and assessing the damage to the vehicles involved. Here are some of the key factors that may be considered when determining fault in a car accident:
- Police report: The responding police officer will typically create a report documenting the accident, which may include information about the cause of the accident, the condition of the vehicles, and any injuries sustained. This report may be used as evidence in determining fault.
- Witness statements: Eyewitnesses to the accident may be interviewed to provide additional information about what happened and who was at fault.
- Vehicle damage: The damage to each vehicle involved in the accident may be assessed to determine how the accident occurred and who was at fault. The location and severity of the damage can provide important clues about the cause of the accident.
- Traffic laws: Violations of traffic laws, such as speeding, running a red light, or failing to yield the right of way, may be used as evidence in determining fault.
- Other factors: Other factors that may be considered when determining fault include weather conditions, road conditions, and any mechanical failures or defects that may have contributed to the accident.
It is important to note that fault may be assigned to more than one driver, or it may be determined that no one driver is solely at fault. In some cases, a third party such as a pedestrian or bicyclist may also be found at fault.
I Was Injured Due to Another Driver, Now What?
If you have suffered property damage or been injured due to the reckless or negligent actions of another driver, reach out to our law firm today. We help our clients recover compensation for their property damage, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
Spanish Speaking Car Accident Lawyer in Houston, Texas
Spanish-speaking individuals can have a more difficult time seeking justice in their personal injury cases due to language barriers. This causes them to not take action against those who have left them with financial devastation and physical trauma. At the Law Office of Beverly R. Caruthers, our team refuses to let a language barrier affect your right to justice and compensation. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident and is in need of Spanish-speaking legal advice, our team is here for you.
We make it easy for those who have been injured due to the actions of others to navigate the legal system in order to get the results they need to continue on in their lives. Schedule your no-obligation car accident consultation with Attorney Caruthers today. Our team will work with you every step of the way to ensure your needs are being met and that you are getting the treatment you deserve in your car accident case. Don’t hesitate, the sooner you call the more we can do to get you results.
Experienced Houston Car Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury, experienced loss of income, or are unable to work due to a car accident, you can benefit from the services of a Houston car accident expert in your personal injury case. Whether you missed work due to an injury or due to not having access to a vehicle, Attorney Beverly R. Caruthers can help you!
Our team works hard to bring the most efficient and practical solutions to your car accident case. Beverly R. Caruthers proudly serves and defends the Greater Houston area including but not limited to Baytown, Conroe, Crosby, Humble, Huntsville, Lake Jackson, Missouri City, Pasadena, Spring, Tomball.
Beverly R Caruthers Law Office
Address: 4141 Southwest Fwy, Suite 620
Houston, TX 77027
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