When it comes to car insurance quotes, one of the things that Americans fear the most is being determined as "at-fault" for an accident. Insurance clients believe that if they have a single at-fault accident, their premiums will skyrocket and they will never be able to get a great car insurance quote again. More than that, drivers are concerned that their provider will determine them to be at-fault no matter the situation, and that they will have little choice or say in the matter. When it comes to determining fault, there are a number of factors that come into play in order to assess which driver was responsible for a collision. In some cases, drivers share the blame equally, and in some states monetary distributions happen based on a "percent of fault" basis. Here are three ways that insurance companies often use to determine fault.
First is the nature of the damage on both vehicles, coupled with the statements made by the drivers. Both drivers and any passengers they carry are considered to be biased, so it is often the damage on the vehicles that will tell the tale when it comes to determining fault. In some cases, however, the damage will be inconclusive and drivers will be told by their insurance company that the accident is being declared as 50-50 fault. While this can be frustrating for a driver, it is the lack of any available evidence to swing the decision either way that results in such a determination.
Companies will also use police reports to determine fault. These can sometimes include violation tickets for incorrect turning, signaling or backing, and insurance providers will often use these tickets as a way to determine fault. However, if the police did not attend the scene of an accident, they may not have the necessary facts to determine fault, and many police services will tell citizens that they are not responsible for determining fault in accidents. If a provider attempts to unfairly place fault based on a traffic ticket, be prepared to fight the decision if necessary. Perhaps the best way insurance companies determine fault is by using independent witnesses. These are bystanders, unconnected to the collision, who watched it happen and then make a statement about what they have seen. These independent witness reports can be extremely effective in helping to determine just which party was at fault in an accident.
While an at-fault accident may increase subsequent car insurance quotes, there are a number of ways that can be used determine the true cause and fault of an accident. Clients should be sure that their company is using all of them.