When a person is involved in a car accident, one of the first questions they consider is “Am I at-fault?” That’s an important question, because the answer could affect insurance premiums and possibly the status of their driver’s license. Determining whether it’s a “not-at-fault” accident is not a simple equation because many factors can play a role, including witness testimony, photos or video of the scene, comments made by the drivers and traffic citations issued.
Not sure if yours was a no-fault car accident? Here are a few things to consider.
Were You Issued a Ticket?
If you were issued a citation for violating a traffic law, such as running a red light, making an illegal turn or speeding, chances are you will be considered at-fault for the accident.
What Are Witnesses Saying?
If there are witnesses to the accident, what is their story? Finding out what they saw can help you determine if you will be considered at-fault.
Was It a Rear-End or Left-Hand-Turn Accident?
Most of the time, the person who struck the vehicle in front of them is considered at-fault in a rear-end collision. There can be exceptions, of course, but this is a good rule of thumb. Similarly a left-hand turn accident is generally deemed the fault of the driver making that left turn, unless the other person violated a traffic law.
Did You Say Anything Incriminating at the Scene?
Sometimes in the chaos following an accident, a driver may admit guilt (directly or indirectly). Police officers are trained to pay attention to what drivers say and look for comments like “sorry I hit you!” or “I didn’t even see you there.” These types of offhand comments could help place you at fault in an accident situation.
Do You Need an Attorney?
Whether yours was an at-fault or no-fault car accident, if you sustained any type of bodily injury (even a minor one), you should call a car accident injury attorney right away. Some unscrupulous insurance companies will take advantage of unrepresented accident victims – talking them into very small settlements before they have a chance to consult an attorney. That’s why it’s very important that you speak with an attorney about your case and find out whether or not they can help you. A good attorney will be completely honest and tell you if you have a case or not. Then you will have all the information you need to proceed.