Vehicle Accidents – How Insurance Companies Assess Fault
In almost all car accidents, it is important to prove who was responsible. While it may seem obvious who was at fault, just saying so isn’t enough for insurance companies. By supporting your side of the story with hard evidence, you can make a stronger argument to your insurer and seek maximum compensation.
Let us take a look at how insurance companies assess fault in a car accident settlement case.
Police officers don’t always attend the scene of car accidents. When they do, they will be required to make an official report. If you are involved in an accident and a police officer arrives, be sure to ask for a copy of the report once it has been filed. In instances where police resources are limited and police don’t arrive at an accident, you will have to report the accident at the nearest police station or collision reporting centre.
A police report is one of the most important pieces of evidence that you can show to an insurance company. If you do not provide a copy of the police report, one can be obtained at a later date.
No Fault Liability
There are some types of accidents that will be one driver’s fault. In these circumstances, the insurance companies will not argue over which driver is responsible and oftentimes settle immediately.
Provincial Traffic Laws
Provincial traffic laws are another place to find support for your argument of fault. These laws are usually condensed into the “Rules of the Road” and can be found online and at public libraries.In Ontario, the relevant legislation is The Highway Traffic Act. Our personal injury lawyerscan help you determine the law that applies to your accident, putting you in a better position to negotiate with the insurance company.
Left turn accidents are often the fault of the driver taking that turn. Cars that are driving straight into the intersection usually has the right of way, which means the car turning left is almost always responsible for the car accident. If the vehicle that is going through the intersection runs a red light or is speeding, this can shift the liability away from the car turning left.
Rear End Accidents
This is the most common kind of car accident. If a car hits another car from behind, it is almost never the other driver’s fault, even if he or she was stopped. Drivers are supposed to leave enough room in front of the car to stop safely. When one car’s front end is damaged and the other car’s rear end is damaged, fault is relatively obvious. However, the driver who hit the car in front of him or her may have a claim against a third-party driver, who may have caused them to stop suddenly or be pushed into a car, this typically would not affect their liability for the damage done to the car they’ve hit.
While another driver was most likely at fault, you may also be held partially at fault if your negligence is found to have contributed to the accident. For instance, if your brake lights were faulty or your tire was flat and you stopped in the middle of the road, you may have to bear contributory negligence.
Do You Need a Car Accident Lawyer?
Minor fender-benders can usually be resolved with the exchange of insurance details. However, even the smallest car accident can result in serious injuries. If you have suffered injuries from a car accident, an experienced personal injury attorney at Mackesy Smye can help you deal with assessing fault for the insurance companies.
Our expert team has ample experience dealing with insurance companies and seeking compensation for car accident settlements. Get in touch for a free consultation today.