The Basics of Not-at-fault Accidents
Consider this: You’re coming up to a stale yellow light at a busy intersection, so you know it will be turning red soon—possibly, before you even reach the intersection. The same vehicle has been behind you for a while, and you’ve noticed that the driver keeps looking down as if checking his cellphone. He’s distracted. Because the light has been yellow for some time, you decide to stop, just as it turns to red. The driver behind you crashes into the back of your vehicle.
How to determine fault in a car accident
In general, fault is determined by your state’s definition of “negligence.” Insurance companies often obtain statements from the parties involved, review scene photos, interview witnesses, as well as review the police report to gain an understanding of what occurred in order to decide who is at fault. However, keep in mind that the insurance company’s decision may differ from police findings.
Auto insurance in most states is considered fault-based. This means that the person who is at fault would be responsible for paying for the damage to property and other vehicles, as well any medical expenses, if applicable. However, auto insurance in some states is not fault-based. In these states, all drivers are required to carry what is known as personal injury protection (PIP). Although property damage may remain “fault-based,” the cost of medical expenses is sometimes covered by the auto insurance company of the vehicle owner or driver. However, one could also make a bodily injury (BI) claim against the at-fault driver.