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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Powell

How Do Insurance Companies Decide Who Is At Fault?

Most car insurance companies rely on the information provided and the state laws and regulations to determine who is at fault in an accident. Aside from that, the statements coming from the witnesses of the accident, the driver, and the police reports are also used by the car insurance companies to determine the driver at fault. Photographs, vehicle damages, and injuries are some of the evidence a driver may use to defend himself.

How the Police Helps Determine Fault

How the Police Helps Determine Fault

After someone has already reported the road mishap that happened to the police officers, the officers will start their investigation. After that, they will collect as much evidence as possible and include them in their police report.

There are cases that the police will interview some of the witnesses and the driver of the cars involved in the mishap. The two parties, as well as the witnesses, have a choice to let the police interview them or not.

The police report should cover statements that will show who is at fault for the accident. Unfortunately, most of the police reports are vague and contain not enough information to determine who is at fault.

Some of the police reports may indicate the name of the at-fault driver. But this does not mean that the identified driver will be held responsible and pay all the damages caused.

Apart from that, police officers are also allowed to issue a traffic citation. Even though the traffic citation provided by an officer does not directly prove the at-fault driver, it is an essential piece of evidence to determine the negligence of the car operator.

How The Insurance Companies Determine Fault

After every car accident, either of the two parties will file a claim with their car insurer. The car insurance company will send an adjuster to fix the claim. The adjuster will be the one who will lead the investigation. Beyond that, he will also settle the insurance claim.

In most cases of car accidents, there may be more than one adjuster who will handle the claim and lead the investigation process. This is because the insurance company of the two drivers will choose an adjuster to investigate the road mishap.

The adjusters will work as the police officers. They will also ask for medical reports, talk with the witnesses and the drivers, verify the details, and examine the damage extent of the car and its driver.

The adjuster is also the one to determine the at-fault driver. In some cases, an adjuster will assign a fault percentage to the car operators involved in the accident.

The car insurance companies will know who is the faulty driver depending on the state’s legal definition of negligence. Road negligence usually happens when one driver does not perform the amount of caution needed to avoid the situation that will put his and his passenger’s lives at risk.

The Fault States vs. the No-Fault States

The Fault States vs. the No-Fault States

The laws followed by the car insurance companies will vary depending on their state. Other states are categorized as “no-fault” states, while the remaining ones are considered as the tort or “fault” states.

In fault states, the car insurance company will look into the party who caused the crash. The insurance company of the driver who is at fault will cover all the damages.

On the other hand, in no-fault states, the driver of both parties will file a claim for their auto insurance company. The company will cover their medical expenses. This is applicable for both drivers, despite who is negligible for the accident.


No one can deny that the number of car accidents is continuously increasing as the day goes by. In line with that, it is very challenging for a person involved in a car accident to deal with the police, his injuries, the possible lawsuit, and insurance companies. Fortunately, there are various law firms that will defend every driver and give him the claim he deserves.

If someone is involved in a road mishap, especially if it includes serious damages and injuries, hiring a car accident attorney like one from is the best thing to do. Lawyers are knowledgeable enough to defend someone in court and give him legal advice and valuable information that can be used when the other driver’s party files a lawsuit.

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