Car insurance quotes provide valuable information on different types of insurance and premium pricing, but do not explain how car insurance companies determine fault in the event of an auto accident. The majority of states have legal systems which assign fault to one driver or another based upon the actions of each vehicle's operator. The negligence of one driver may put them entirely at fault for the accident, or it may be that there is negligence on the part of both drivers, resulting in split fault.
Your car insurance company will assign a claims adjuster to your claim that will perform an investigation and make a fault determination. The person(s) at fault is determined by taking the negligence of each party into consideration. This is called comparative negligence. One driver may be 100% at fault; the other may be 0%. In cases of split fault, the range of fault assigned could be anywhere from [10% / 90%] to [50% / 50%].
What should you do if you car insurance company determines that your accident was the result of split fault and assigns some negligence to you? In the event of a split fault determination, your first step should be to speak directly with your claims adjuster in order to hear the reasons that a split fault decision was reached. Listen calmly and politely to what your claims adjuster has to say, and ask questions to clarify any points you may not understand.
Once you understand all of the reasons for your car insurance company's split fault decision, you will be better equipped to dispute the liability decision. First, if your claims adjuster does possess complete information, then be prepared to supply additional evidence. It may be that the other party had a "Yield" sign or that you did everything possible to avoid the accident. Photographs of the scene, witness information, and written or verbal driver's statements are all valuable sources of evidence that claims adjusters use as part of their liability investigation.
If you find that your claims adjuster is unwilling or unable to change their liability determination as the result of a discussion, then be prepared to write a letter to your car insurance company. Your letter should state why you feel you are not partially liable for the car accident, and provide any supporting evidence. In most cases, a different claims adjuster will review the evidence. Your car insurance company is legally required to respond to your letter in writing.
Car insurance quotes may not prepare you to deal with a car accident, but that does not mean that you cannot disagree with your car insurance company's split fault liability determination.