Who is at fault in a car accident?

How to Determine Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident?

Regardless of how careful you may personally be as a driver, with so many other people out on the open road the odds are pretty good that you’ll end up finding yourself the victim of an automobile accident (hopefully rather minor) at some point or another.

And while there is always going to be quite a bit of headache and hassle involved with any automobile accident, as long as you are protected by a legitimate insurance company like Florida Insurance Now you should be able to navigate the process without too much stress and without too much pressure.

Of course, at the end of the day, you’ll obviously hope you are found to be not at fault for the accident itself – and that the liability for covering the damages caused by the accident are put on the other driver’s shoulders.

Here’s some helpful information to give you a better idea of how fault is determined in a car accident.

If a driver is found to be at fault and caused an accident to occur, the at fault driver’s insurance is typically going to be charged with paying for repairs, covering all medical expenses, and making sure that any civil liabilities are covered as well.

If no driver is found to be at fault (a no-fault accident), each involved driver’s car insurance will kick in and cover their damages, essentially providing “first party benefits” to the driver that they cover in the first place. Property damage will remain “at fault” no matter want, so if no one was determined to be to blame for causing the accident but someone’s car ended up hitting a telephone pole, for example, the vehicle that hit the pole and their insurance would be responsible for the damages that were incurred.

Outside liability is where things really start to get messy

Obviously, we live in a rather litigious society, and anyone – and we mean anyone – has the opportunity to sue anyone else for mostly any reason whatsoever.

Even if everyone has been found to be “not at fault” in the event of an accident, aggrieved parties could bring the other driver or drivers to court and sue them for damages that they may or may not have to end up paying. This is why it is so important to contact the local police ASAP in the event of an accident. They are police reports are incredibly important to help protect you in the event of a frivolous lawsuit like this.

Who is at fault in a rear end collision?

Trying to determine who is at fault in the event of an automobile accident is mission-critical, as a likely determines who will have their car insurance cover any of the damages – and who is going to be responsible for paying for the increased insurance premiums almost always associated with any major insurance claim.

All insurance companies, including top-tier options like Florida Insurance Now, are going to tell you that in the event of an accident – especially one that is to be considered major – you have to contact the police so that they can independently determine who is at fault and you don’t have to worry about a civil court case erupting to make the same determination.

At the same time, most people have been told that if they are rear-ended – or if they do the rear-ending – the person hitting a vehicle from behind is the person responsible for the accident. Well, it turns out that this isn’t always the case.

Negligence is an important determining factor in figuring out who is at fault

The term negligence is almost always used to describe an at fault accident, and for good reason.

Negligence describes any driver whose conduct falls below in established standard of care, and someone whose conduct is short of what a reasonable person would or could do under the circumstances that caused an accident.

If, for example, an individual driver:

  • Failed to pay attention to the road or keep an eye out for hazards
  • Failed to stop within a reasonable block of time
  • Failed to drive at safe and reasonable speed limits (which can be related to weather conditions) or
  • Failed to maintain control of their vehicle, to use turn signals, and to follow a vehicle at a safe distance

… They would be considered to be a negligent driver and would be responsible for the accident, regardless of whether or not they were in front or behind of the incident itself.

If a vehicle in front of the accident is negligent or malicious, they are found at fault

If you’re dealing with a vehicle in front of you that is driving erratically, reverses suddenly, stops suddenly to make a turn and chooses not to execute that turn, has brake lights that are not functional, or has a flat tire and doesn’t engage their hazard lights (for example) you aren’t going to be found at fault if you end up rear ending the vehicle in front of you.

These are just some of the factors you want to consider if you find yourself in an accident and some of the factors you want to communicate to the police when they arrive on the scene.

Is the owner of the car or the driver liable for an accident?

If another person was driving your car and wrecked it, or got into an accident with your vehicle, it can be a bit of a pickle trying to figure out exactly who’s insurance company needs to be contacted to take care of the insurance claims process, the repairs, and any of the renumeration that needs to be made in the event of third-party damage.

Hopefully we are able to shine a little bit of light on the subject for you so you can better understand who needs to contact their insurance company, and to help point you in the right direction about how to best move through this process should you ever find yourself dealing with it in the future.

When is the owner of a vehicle liable for a car accident when they weren’t driving?

Believe it or not, the vehicle owner will almost ALWAYS be liable for damages stemming from a car accident that involves their car, regardless of whether or not they were actually the ones driving the vehicle at the time.

A lot of people are under the impression that car insurance follows the person that has car insurance and not the vehicle itself, but it’s actually the opposite. When you ensure your vehicle you are ensuring the vehicle itself, and not you with as a driver, which means anyone that gets into a car accident with your vehicle is going to come back on the insurance protecting that vehicle – the insurance that you are paying for.

In some extreme circumstances the driver can also be liable for an accident caused with someone else’s car

In an “at fault” accident, the driver will almost always be able to avoid liability – even though that sounds a little bit backwards and counterintuitive. However, if injuries are caused in the event of an accident like this (or if damage to property exceeds a certain value) it may be possible that the driver will also have to pony up some cash or have their insurance cover the balance.

If someone else driving your vehicle caused $50,000 worth of personal injury damages or damage to property, and your vehicle is only covered with a $25,000 policy against this kind of damage, the driver and their insurance would have to kick in and cover the remaining $25,000.

This is why it’s so important that you work with a reputable and reliable insurance company like Florida Insurance Now to protect yourself and anyone else that you might let drive your vehicle.