Determining Fault in an Auto Accident

determining fault in auto accidentAbingdon, Bristol and Johnson City

Most people will get into an auto accident at least once in their lives. Making sure that the drivers and passengers are safe after an accident, of course, is the number one concern. After that comes the disappointment and stress over the damage to one’s vehicle or dealing with injuries. Finally, you have questions about who is at fault.

According to the U. S. Department of Transportation: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were more than six million reported car crashes in the United States in 2015. That averages out to over 16,400 auto accidents every day! Although auto crashes are categorized as fatal or nonfatal accidents, they nonetheless cause damage to the vehicle, or vehicles, involved.

While most accidents have an obvious party at fault, many do not. The Law Offices of Michael R. Munsey, P.C., have provided some facts to help you determine fault if you are in an auto accident. However, should you find yourself in an auto accident, contact an experienced attorney to seek legal protection, advice, and the compensation that you deserve.

What is a “Fault State?”

The Insurance Information Institute defines a “Fault State” as a state in which the person caused the accident is responsible for paying for the damages to property and medical expenses. Tennessee and Virginia are both “Fault States.”

Police Report

The most important aspect to determining fault in an auto accident is the police report. The police submit an official version of the accident, which is more reliable than any participant in an accident. For this reason, it is always necessary to call police if you are involved in an accident, even if no one has suffered any injuries.

Gather Evidence

After calling the police, take pictures of the accident scene. This should include the location and position of the vehicle(s) and any damage. Also, get information from witnesses that were not involved in the accident, if possible.

Do Not Admit Fault

The assigning of error is the job of the police. Do not apologize to the other driver, property owner, or police. You may feel guilt, even if you did nothing wrong yet the other driver gets injured, or their vehicle sustained more damage, avoid admitting fault. Make sure to let the professionals do their jobs. You only relate just the facts!

What if I get in an accident?

There are some occasions when a driver is faulted incorrectly or unjustly. Being faulted for an accident has many negative effects on someone. First, your insurance rates are likely to increase.  Depending on the damage and if there are injuries, some people lose their insurance coverage altogether. Second, a faulted driver will often be issued a citation and get points added to their driving record. This can sometimes lead to a person losing the right to drive at all!

Most of us will get into an auto accident at some point in our lives. Determining fault is usually very easy. However, mistakes or legal challenges still occur, and when it does, contact your attorney by calling (276) 451-2056 to schedule a free consultation.

The Law Offices of Michael R. Munsey, P.C., are proud to serve clients in Bristol, Kingsport and Johnson City, TN, as well as Bristol, VA.

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