Let's get something out of the way. Never, should you ever admit fault at the scene of an accident.
The moment you say it's your fault, fighting a legal case get's a whole lot easier for the other person and a whole lot harder for you.
If the other person admits fault, however, that makes your life easier. You should either record your conversation with them on your phone or at least tell the officer who arrives at the scene that the other person admitted fault.
If the other party admits fault to the officer, that makes your case even stronger.
In any event, you won't know how to tell who is at fault in a car accident on your own. Let the authorities and your lawyer help.
How to Tell Who is at Fault in a Car Accident
On the police force, there are people specially trained to figure out who's at fault in any sort of accident. They'll take into account things like traffic laws, speed limits, and right of way.
Then they'll look at evidence that shows how fast each person was going. They can tell this by the depth of car damage and things like skid marks on the road.
When they take all that into consideration, they'll usually come up with the truth. It may have been mostly one person's fault, but a little bit of yours as well.
It's a relatively quick process, that is if there are only two cars. If you have an accident with more than one car, things get more complicated. For example, who's at fault in a pile-up?
The first two cars that crashed have a lot of the fault, obviously, but what about each person that crashed into the person in front of them?
Or if someone is rear-ended at a stop light and their car jolts forward into someone else's car, and then theirs into another. That's where things get difficult.
Types of Fault or Negligence
Once you have the evidence all sorted through, your insurance and your lawyer will work on types of negligence. For example, there's comparative negligence. this is when you are partly at fault, and so is the other person.
It's not always a legal split, it could turn out that they're 70 percent responsible, while you're at 30 percent.
The type of negligence will depend on your unique situation, and fault (or percentage of fault) will determine the amount of your settlement.
Determining Legal Fault: Get Help!
In the best case scenario, someone admits that the accident was 100 percent their fault on the scene and to the authorities. This makes getting a settlement easy.
But when things are split, they get more complicated. Don't try to figure out the fault split settlement battle on your own. Find a lawyer who has done this type of work before, and who can get you the money you deserve.
We can help. Give us a call and tell us about your case, and we'll talk about how to tell who is at fault in a car accident. We offer a free consultation with no obligation.