What Options Are Available for At-Fault Car Crash Drivers?
Being involved in an accident can be a terribly stressful situation. Many of us consider ourselves safe drivers, but sometimes accidents happen. If you are at fault completely or partially for a car crash, you may wonder what legal options you have.
If you were found at fault for car accident, there are certain steps you should take to protect your claim. There may be a possibility that someone else may be more at fault for the accident, but an investigation will be needed. A car accident lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys can help.
How Can I Prove Who is At Fault After a Car Accident?
Getting into an auto accident is a stressful time. Chances are you may not even remember what happened prior to the accident. What you do after the car accident is important for your claim.
The first thing you will need is to call 911. Once emergency services are alerted and are on their way, you will need to start protecting your claim. You and the other driver should exchange information including:
- Insurance information
- Phone numbers
- License plate numbers
You’ll also want to document any evidence from the accident. This includes photographs of the damage to the vehicle, road markings, traffic surveillance, etc. Also get contact information from any witnesses of the accident. Their account could be helpful in proving fault in the case.
Of course, be sure you and anyone involved in the accident seek medical attention. Hold on to any medical documentation and bills you incur for your car insurance company as well. This is especially important for serious injuries.
Remember to remain cooperative throughout the entire situation; hiding evidence will only hurt you in the long run.
How is Fault Determined After a Car Accident?
After the car accident, the police will compile a report that explains what occurred, who was injured, and who was cited for any violations. Once the police report is created, the insurance company will use that information to determine who is responsible for the car accident.
It’s important to get a copy of the police report as soon as possible. You will want to review this document to make sure the information is correct and to see if the other driver had been cited for any moving violations. If you find any information in the police report that’s incorrect, contact the police officer to try and get it changed.
Fault could be divided between multiple parties. For example, if you were speeding at the time of the accident, but the other driver had been distracted, you both may share fault for the car accident.
There are times when it’s unclear on who is at fault. If this happens in your car accident, this is where evidence will play a crucial part in your claim.
Who Covers Losses If I’m the At-Fault Driver?
Depending on if you live in a no fault state or fault state will determine how the car insurance companies handle the liability in car accidents.
In no-fault states, each driver’s car insurance covers their policy-holders losses. In a fault state, the at-fault driver is responsible for everyone’s losses. There are also some states that follow comparative fault. In Pennsylvania, for example, modified comparative fault is at play, where both parties may hold some amount of fault for the accident. Under this system, the plaintiff’s competition is reduced by the percentage of their share of negligence. For example, if the plaintiff is found 20 percent at fault for the car accident, and is award $100,000 for the car crash, the plaintiff will receive $80,000.
However, if you are more than 51 percent at fault for an accident, you are not able to recover any damages. This is important because even if your case never goes to court, the insurance adjuster is likely to come to a conclusion that they believe would be a similar result as a lawsuit.
This is why if you are found at fault for an accident, it’s important to speak with a qualified car accident attorney who can investigate your claim to find evidence of who is at fault.
What Losses Can I Receive Compensation for If I’m At Fault for A Car Accident?
If you are found at fault for an auto accident, you may still be able to recover damages. In Pennsylvania under modified comparative fault, so long as the fault is even or less than 50% between the drivers involved, your insurance company should partially cover some of your damages.
If however, you share the bulk of the liability, you may be responsible for your own damages. You’ll need to check with your insurance company to see if you have collision coverage as it would in some cases, cover your losses following a car accident.
What Losses Can the Other Driver Recover for An Auto Accident I Caused?
When you cause an auto accident, your insurance company may pick up some of the cost, depending on how liability is distributed. However, if the insurance does not adequately provide for the other driver’s losses, you may be held personally responsible.
Further, if the accident you caused resulted in serious injury or a fatality, you could face a wrongful death lawsuit. This is why it’s important to seek legal representation right away.
Other losses the driver may seek compensation for include:
- Medical expenses including hospital stays, medication, rehabilitation, and future medical costs
- Lost of current and future income
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
Remember, at the end of the day, it will depend on how fault for a car accident is distributed in the accident. Your car accident lawyer will be able to evaluate your share of liability which can ultimately determine how much compensation you and the other driver may receive.
Car Insurance Rates Following an Accident
If you are at fault for a auto accident, you are likely to see an increase in your car insurance policy rates. Contact your insurance company to learn more about the changes you may incur.
At Fault for a Car Accident? Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help.
If you find yourself asking “what happens if I am at fault for a car accident?,” Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys can help you navigate the car accident process. When you seek representation from us, a car accident lawyer can review the facts of your case to determine who truly was at fault to ensure you are not paying settlements that you do not have to.
If you were involved in a car accident, pick up the phone and call a Pennsylvania car accident lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today or use our online form to schedule your free consultation and free case evaluation. Remember, we do not collect a fee unless we recover financial compensation for you.