In the US, there are over 6 million car accidents each year. Although these can occur for a variety of different reasons, someone is often considered at fault in an auto accident involving two or more cars.
However, not everybody understands what an at-fault accident is. Let’s take a closer look at the key information you need to know.
So, What Is an At-Fault Accident?
An at-fault accident is exactly what it sounds like — it’s an accident that is found to be the fault of one or more drivers involved. In other words, someone must be held legally responsible for the incident.
That responsibility may lie with one driver or multiple drivers depending on who is determined to have failed in their duty or acted negligently in some way.
More than just determining who is responsible for the accident itself, an at-fault accident can also decide who must pay for any damages incurred. In these cases, the driver (or drivers) found to be at fault will be responsible for covering all costs associated with the incident — whether it’s medical bills, repair expenses, or legal fees.
What Determines Fault?
The primary factor in determining fault is negligence. This means that one or more drivers must have been negligent in their actions leading up to the accident – whether it’s through speeding, driving while intoxicated, failing to adhere to traffic laws, or simply not paying attention on the road.
It’s also important to note that accident faults can be shared between two or more drivers. If both parties are found to be at least partially responsible, the insurance companies may decide who will pay how much in damages.
What if the Other Driver Is at Fault?
If the other driver is found to be at fault in an accident, their insurance will usually cover any costs associated with it.
However, if the other driver does not have adequate insurance or is uninsured altogether, then you may have to resort to covering the damages out of your own pocket. In some cases, you can sue the negligent driver personally to recover the money you’ve spent.
What if I Am at Fault?
If you are found to be at fault in an accident, you may have to cover all or some of the costs associated with it. In most cases, your insurance company will pay out the damages and then seek reimbursement from you later on. Depending on the terms of your policy, they may also raise your premiums as a result.
How Can I Better Protect Myself on the Road?
It’s important to keep yourself safe and avoid an at-fault accident when you’re out driving. One of the most effective ways to do this is to stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times.
Make sure you’re not distracted by phones or other devices so that you can react quickly in any given situation. Additionally, it’s important to obey the law when driving. This includes following speed limits, properly signaling your turn, and adhering to any other applicable laws.
Make sure you’re aware of any hazardous conditions such as snow, ice, and fog that can impair your visibility. Finally, auto insurance is a key factor in protecting yourself from the risks associated with an at-fault accident.
Make sure you have the proper coverage for potential damages should you be found at fault in an accident. Educating yourself on the details on car accident laws can go a long way.
What Are the Most Common Driving Dangers?
The most common driving dangers include speeding, distracted driving, impaired driving, and failure to obey traffic laws. Speeding can lead to slower reaction times and higher chances of an accident occurring, while distracted driving (such as using a phone or other device) takes your focus away from the road.
Impaired driving involves being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, while failure to obey traffic laws can result in a variety of dangers. This all increases the chances of an accident occurring. So, be sure to keep this in mind when moving forward.
What Should I Look For in an Attorney?
If you’re involved in an at-fault accident, it’s important to seek the advice of a qualified attorney.
Look for someone who is experienced in handling auto accident cases and who has a proven track record of success. It’s also important to find an attorney who is available and willing to answer any questions that you have about your case.
Make sure you feel comfortable with the attorney and that they are willing to fight for your rights. Make sure you understand exactly what their fees will be before hiring them for their services.
Finally, make sure you only work with attorneys who you feel comfortable with. A good attorney should be understanding, empathetic, and knowledgeable in their practice of law.
They should also have your best interests at heart when working on your case. By making sure you hire the right attorney for an at-fault accident claim, you can ensure that you are getting the best legal advice and representation possible.
Dealing With an At-Fault Accident Can Be Stressful
Unfortunately, car accidents are an all too common occurrence. However, being informed about your own rights and responsibilities behind the wheel is a key step to protecting yourself in the event of an at-fault accident.
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