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How Does Insurance Determine Who’s At Fault In A Car Accident?

Posted On January 20, 2020 In Legal Information,Local Car Accidents

Nobody wants to be involved in a car accident, but the reality is that these incidents happen all the time. In Texas, there were more than 540,000 total car accidents during the latest reporting year, according to the state Department of Transportation. These crashes led to more than 250,000 injuries and 3,639 total fatalities. In the aftermath of a car accident, victims will turn to their insurance carriers to recover compensation for injuries and property damage. However, many people wonder how an insurance carrier determines who was at fault for the car accident.

What information do insurance carriers use?

In the aftermath of a car accident in Texas, everyone involved will make claims to their insurance carrier. They will relate what happened in the incident, and their insurance carrier will begin the investigation. After a car accident, it is important to determine who is at fault because the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier will be on the line for property damage and injury expenses.

You can be sure every insurance carrier involved will do what they can to limit the amount they pay in a settlement. They will conduct a thorough investigation of all of the evidence in order to determine liability. Insurance carriers will:

  • gather all evidence from the scene of the crash, including police reports, video and photo surveillance, eyewitness statements, anymore.
  • speak to every party involved in the incident to get their version of events.
  • closely scrutinize every medical record related to the incident.
  • thoroughly review any estimates of property damage.

Texas comparative negligence laws

In many cases, more than one driver is at fault for a car accident. This does not mean that nobody will receive compensation. Texas operates under what is called a modified comparative negligence system. This means that any party who is less than 51% at fault in a crash is entitled to recover compensation for damages. However, the amount of compensation a person receives will be reduced based on their percentage of fault for the accident.

For example, if an insurance carrier awards $10,000 in damages to a car accident victim but has determined that the person was 10% responsible for the crash, the victim will only receive $9,000 in total compensation.

Comparative negligence laws often pit insurance carriers against one another and an attempt to place the blame away from their respective policyholders. A skilled Texas car accident attorney is often required to navigate these insurance claims.

What type of compensation is available?

There are various types of compensation available to victims of car accidents. While no two accidents are the same, it is not uncommon for the following types of compensation to be awarded after a crash:

  • coverage of all medical bills related to the incident
  • compensation for lost wages and benefits if a person cannot work while they recover
  • compensation for pain and suffering damages that resulted from the injuries

In cases where the at-fault driver was grossly negligent or intentionally caused a motor vehicle accident, punitive damages may be awarded in order to punish the person responsible and to prevent them from operating in such a manner in the future.

The total amount of compensation awarded in a car accident case will vary depending on several factors related to the accident, such as the severity of the injuries, the total amount of property damage, how much pain and suffering a victim endures, and more.

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