Photo courtesy of  Flickr

Photo courtesy of Flickr

Being involved in a car accident can be a scary thing, especially if you live outside of a big city where there’s less public transportation and you rely on your car for everything. Having your car totaled can turn your life upside down, not only by the loss of your vehicle, but also with potential injuries as a result of the accident. The goal is to be proactive to be sure you receive compensation if the incident was the other parties fault.  However, proving fault in an accident can be key to saving you money and a heightened insurance rate.  While working to prove fault, you’ll want to involve professional help, search for no doubt liabilities, and research comparative negligence.   

Involve Professional Help

Let’s say you’re pulling out of a liquor store in Woodbridge, NJ while visiting family during a holiday, and get hit by another driver going way over the speed limit. You’re far from your home in Connecticut, and may even be in a dangerous position on the road.

From that moment on and throughout your process, you will come in contact with a lot of different authoritative figures.  Your first step will be consulting with the police on the scene.  Be sure to take pictures of your vehicle and get any important detail in writing.  The officer may have some say in determining fault of the accident. When they write up their police report, there may or may not be mention of which party caused the accident.  Even though the police will help you stay safe immediately after your crash, their main job on the scene is simply safety and traffic control.

The next professional you will come in contact with on your journey will be your claims adjuster from the insurance company.  It is their job to help determine fault of the accident. They will use resources such as the police statement mentioned above (so again, be sure it is thorough) and witness testimonies.  Most parties involved in a crash deny that they had fault in it, so the claims adjuster acts like a detective, working to discover who the real culprit is.

Involving insurance agencies is a must when dealing with an accident.  You pay good money to have car insurance for incidents like this one, take advantage of that.  Most companies will reimburse you the amount of the damages or provide the value of your old car to go to the purchase of a new vehicle.  So you may even be able to go to a car dealership in Colchester, CT and pick out a new ride.  Overall your insurance company is there to help you get the best deal possible and to help you prove fault against the other party.  

No Doubt Liabilities

As previously mentioned, most drivers will deny fault in an auto accident.  For this reason, there are some accidents which are referred to as no doubt liability accidents where insurance companies cannot argue over fault.  The most common of these types of crashes are rear end collisions.  Because drivers are required to keep a safe distance between them and the car in front of them, the back car is considered responsible for rear ending another vehicle.  A few other examples of no doubt liability accidents are left turn accidents and DUIs. If anyone operating a motor vehicle under the influence is involved in a crash, they are the responsible party without question.  Using the no doubt liability clause, you can prove fault very easily in any of these cases.

Establishing Negligence

In the case of an accident that where both parties are partially at fault, you still have the opportunity to sue for damages.  This would involve a form of comparative negligence.  In these cases, both parties were reckless with their vehicle in a way that damaged or injured the other driver.  A judge and jury can determine how much each driver was at fault. Say you were responsible for 20% of the accident by drinking your coffee while driving, but the other party speed through a stop sign and hit you and takes 80% of the blame.  While the second car did hit you, you didn’t have both hands on the wheel and therefore are in part to blame for the accident. In these cases where the blame is split more than 50/50, you may still be able to sue for damages, because the other party was the main cause of the accident.  Be sure to consult an attorney for motor vehicle accident negligence so you can prove the other party was more responsible for the crash.  

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