19 Oct Who Is At Fault In A Car Wreck?
A medical team has checked you for injuries, the police have taken their report, and the insurance company has been contacted. Your car accident attorney will do their best to get your damages taken care of, but how do they figure out who pays who? It’s all about fault.
If a driver is found to be at fault, they are legally responsible for causing the accident. As Louisiana is a “fault state”, the court will do its best to find out who is responsible and hold them responsible for any damages. The court does this by finding from the evidence who was “negligent”; or, who was driving carelessly.
Many police reports do not include an admission of guilt, but the police will issue citations and tickets if they feel a law has been violated. This, as well as the police report itself can be used by the court to find who is legally responsible for the accident. Neither of these documents by themselves prove legal responsibility (liability), but can prove negligence.
Insurance companies assign claims adjusters to oversee any claim that occurs. These adjusters interview witnesses, review medical reports and insurance details, and ultimately determine negligence based on the legal definition in that state. All of the details are used to determine who was not showing a reasonable amount of care while driving.
If the case goes to a court, it is important to note that the court has the final say on who is liable in the event of an accident. Police reports and citations as well as any information provided by claims adjusters will be taken into consideration, but the court will make any final rulings on who is at fault in an accident and what the final award will be for any damages.
Traffic citations come into play at this point as it can be a way to prove “negligence per se”. If someone has done something worth being ticketed over, the court can consider that as proof of negligence based on how the offense affected the accident.
Remember; do not admit guilt or place blame at the accident. The police will gather testimony and evidence, and the claims adjusters will document your injuries and talk to witnesses. By remaining calm after an accident, it is much easier to make more evidence to your claim available to the court in a lawsuit.