How do you determine who is at fault for an accident or injury?

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2023 | Personal Injury Law |

The aftermath of an accident can be complicated and overwhelming, and you may be unsure of how you can pick up the pieces and move forward after this type of event. If the incident that left you injured is the result of the reckless or negligent actions of another person, there are legal options that could be available to you. You may have a valid claim to financial compensation through a civil claim.  

The first step in the civil claims process is to determine fault. Financial responsibility is not always easy to determine, and accidents can involve multiple at-fault parties. If you are unsure of what to do after an accident in Alabama, you may benefit from learning more about how insurance companies determine fault, what you need for a successful claim and how you can take decisive action to protect your interests. 

What happens at the scene of the accident 

One of the primary factors in determining fault is what happens at the scene of the accident and immediately after. Even minor decisions made at the scene can have a direct impact on the success of your claim and what you could receive in compensation. There are typically three main ways that fault is determined in an accident: 

  • The police report — The details included in the police report, including where the cars were located, damage to the vehicles and more, can be a primary factor in the determination of fault. Insurance companies will likely review this report. 
  • Insurance companies — Insurance companies will carefully review all accident evidence, including pictures and the police report, and they may decide to pay for damages based on their determination of what happened. 
  • The two drivers decide — In some cases, the two drivers can reach an agreement on what happened, and they can determine how to move forward regarding the coverage of damages and more. 

After an accident, it will be beneficial to take steps to shield your interests. This includes taking your own photos of the scene, speaking with witnesses, gathering important evidence and more. It is also critical to take immediate action after a personal injury incident as important evidence can erode and documentation can become difficult to secure. You may find it helpful to seek counsel and support as soon as possible in order to identify the legal options available to you. 

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