Whether you were in a small fender bender or a more complicated car crash, you may be wondering how to tell who is at fault in a car accident and what steps you should take throughout the whole process.
In the event that you are involved in an accident, there are a few procedures you should immediately do to stay safe, before talking to a lawyer. These simple yet smart actions will help you figure out who is really at fault in an accident and what you should do next.
Here are 5 step-by-step instructions on what you should do after an accident has occurred so you can establish who is at fault.
1. Take Pictures of The Damage
Once everyone at the scene is safe and the authorities are on their way, documentation and pictures should be the first priority.
First, it is important not to move either vehicle until instructed and aided to do so by police. While you wait for them, take out your phone and take as many pictures of the damage as possible. Be sure to get images of your vehicle at every angle and debris that may be laying on the street so you have immediate proof of all the damage. Make sure to take photos of the placement of the vehicles.
Also, look around the scene for any cameras that may have captured the accident and take a photo of those cameras so your attorney can investigate further.
Photos are key for how to tell who is at fault in a car accident and will help you in case of a legal matter.
2. Exchange Information With The Other Driver
When filing a claim with your car insurance provider, you will need the name and insurance information of the other driver. Regardless of who is at fault, this is a necessary element of the process because it allows you to report vital information of the other driver to your insurance company.
After you exchange information, you will want to report the incident with the police. Here’s what you need to know.
3. Tell The Police What Happened
At the scene, the police will take notes that they will use to write a report that will go on every record involved with the case. It is important that you give as many accurate details as possible and remain honest when speaking with the police about what happened.
However, you should be careful with your words and the phrases you choose to use because anything you say can be used against you. After the report is taken, the next thing you should do is call your insurance company.
4. File an Insurance Claim
Here in Florida, it is the law that every driver has proof of financial responsibility to pay for property damages at a minimum of $10,000.
So, having car insurance is very important. As soon as you can, you’ll need to file a claim with your insurance about the accident. If you hire an attorney at Carey Leisure and Neal, we will file the claims for you.
Once filed, insurance companies begin an investigation that will eventually determine who is at fault in a car accident. Insurance companies come to this conclusion according to state laws of where the incident occurred, evidence from damage photos and physical damage, etc.
5. Understand What “At-Fault” Means in a Car Accident
Florida is a no-fault state, which means that each member of the accident’s insurance companies will pay a portion of their initial medical bills regardless of who is at fault. However, that is not a “get out of jail free” card and there will still be consequences if you are the one who is at fault for the accident.
The insurance provider of the person who is at fault will be the one responsible for paying for the other person’s damages to their car. This would also include anything inside the car that got damaged during the accident and providing a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired.
So, what you can hope for if you are at fault is that the insurance policy you chose has enough coverage to take care of the damage you are at fault for. If the accident is not your fault, the other person’s insurance will pay for your damages in the same way.
If you are worried that your insurance policy will not cover all of the damage of the accident, then it is a great time to contact a personal lawyer at The Law Offices of Carey Leisure & Neal.
Whether You are At Fault or Not, Let Us Help!
At Carey Leisure & Neal Law Firm, our top priority is to take care of you. We care for our clients and want to do everything we can to make sure you are safe and taken care of. All of our attorneys are accessible. Contact us online or call us at (727) 291-9354 to schedule a free consultation.