What’s Involved in Determining Accident Liability?

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Auto accidents send almost three million Americans to the emergency room each year, making them second most common cause of ER visits. The average cost of such a visit is approximately $5000. If you’ve been hurt in an accident and can prove the other party’s fault, you may be eligible to receive compensation.

While determining accident liability is a complex process, it’s the most important step toward getting compensation for the losses you’ve suffered. Insurance companies offer compensation to policyholders depending on responsibility, and each state has certain rules on determining fault.  

How Do Insurance Companies Investigate Car Accidents?

Auto insurance companies have unique procedures by which they determine fault for accidents. When claims are made, policyholders must wait for their insurers to complete an investigation. During this time, an insurer will hire a claims adjuster, whose job is to determine each party’s level of negligence.

To prove negligence, these elements must be demonstrated: a duty of care, a breach of that duty, a causal link, and measurable damages. Once the adjuster finds that these factors are present (or missing), they’ll determine each party’s percentage of responsibility.

What is the Definition of Liability?

In the legal field, liability is a formal acknowledgement of a person’s degree of responsibility for an event. Based on state law, insurers and the authorities will refer to safe driving guidelines and determine the extent to which those rules were violated.

In some cases, assessing blame is as easy as giving a driver a ticket. For complicated cases, such as multi-vehicle accidents, lane change collisions, or speeding-related crashes, it may be shown that more than one party bears responsibility.

Which Factors Determine Responsibility for Auto Accidents?

When assessing liability for car accidents, insurers consider various factors. Weather conditions, the vehicles’ location and mechanical condition, their direction and speed, each driver’s level of control, and other factors all play a role. If a driver was distracted, or if they failed to obey traffic signals and received a citation, they’re more likely to be blamed for an accident. Insurance adjusters carefully consider these factors when determining fault, and the company subsequently applies each party’s percentage to the claim.

To minimize the risk of injury and to avoid accidents, safe driving is essential. However, accidents are all but inevitable. If your lawyer can show that the other driver’s negligence caused the accident, you may be able to receive compensation. Contact us today to learn how we can help you gain the damages to which you are entitled.

Recklessness vs. Negligence: Is There a Difference?

Another idea considered by law enforcement officers and insurance adjusters is the difference between recklessness and negligence. While negligence occurs when someone mistakenly violates a rule, reckless conduct happens when a person knows their actions may cause an accident and they proceed anyway. For instance, running a red light and causing an accident is typically considered negligent, while doing so under the influence of alcohol or drugs is deemed reckless. When a person is charged with reckless driving, they’re nearly always held liable for damages in an accident.

Get In Touch With Us

If you’ve been involved in an auto accident, or if you’re caring for a family member who has been affected by someone else’s negligent actions behind the wheel, you’ll need an experienced legal team on your site. For additional information or to request a free consultation, call or click today.

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