How To Determine Fault In A Car Accident
Deciding which party is responsible for a car accident is not always a simple affair, and some people are surprised to discover that having caused an accident is not always the same thing as being legally responsible for it.
Determining who is at fault is very important, and both parties will want to say that the other person is at fault since the person who is legally responsible for the accident will be the one whose insurance provider will be called upon to pay for damages.
In some cases, depending on where you live, a certain percentage of the responsibility will be assigned to each of the drivers involved in the accident.
In these cases, the cost of the damage as well as the consequences of the accident (injuries, time off work, rental cars) will be split between both or all parties based on their percentage of the fault.
In most cases, as one would imagine, the person who violates any traffic law will be the one who is held responsible in the event that their violation results in an accident.
Sometimes, however, this is not true, and people do unexpectedly end up being considered at-fault despite another person’s reckless driving.
Generally speaking, for instance, vehicles in the rear are considered to be in a better position for avoiding an accident, and are often found to be at fault even if the accident originated from the actions of the driver in front.
So if someone suddenly swerves dangerously from one lane into another, causing the driver in front of you to slam on their breaks, if you crash into them you may be held responsible for not stopping in time, or for driving too closely behind the driver in front of you.
The best way to build your case of not being at fault in an accident is to collect as much evidence as possible yourself while waiting for the police to arrive. It may sound cutthroat, but if the other driver says anything that could be construed as an admission of guilt like “I didn’t see you” or “I’m sorry that I hit you”, make a not of this and try to use this to your advantage. The other driver, or their lawyer at least, will more than likely just as cutthroat about laying the blame on you.
There is only so much that your own investigate can do, as the final decision about who is at fault will be determined by a combination of the testimony of both drivers, any witnesses, a report of the police’s investigation of the scene, and the judgment of the judge or jury.
However if you can build a solid case for your own testimony that this will contribute to the overall result.
Or in some cases, if your case is really solid, it might be possible to even settle out of court. If you have been injured or believe you could be owed any other additional reparations for damage to property, leave for work, or a replacement rental car, then it is best to contact a lawyer who can help you assess just how much you are reasonably owed.
Many lawyers will not ask for a fee up front, but take a percentage of the settlement once the case has been settled.
Our rental cars are free of charge if you are not at fault in a car accident.
It is a little understood fact that if you are not responsible for a car accident you are legally entitled to a accident replacement rental vehicle, fully paid for by the at fault insurance company. Most Australian insurance companies suggest for their insurers to rent the vehicle themselves then claim the costs back.
As you would fully understand the cost of renting a car can financially draining for some people to cover.
Luckily the Australian industry of accident replacement vehicles has evolved to address this scenario.
Fast & easy application to ensure you get a replacement vehicle with the minimum of fuss.