Over six million car accidents occur on U.S. roadways each year. While no one wishes to be involved in an accident out on the road, it will be a reality that most drivers will have to experience at some point in their life. If you were in an accident and experienced an injury, it is only natural to seek compensation for any damages sustained. But what do you do if your insurance company claims you caused the accident? Read on to learn how to pursue a personal injury claim when your insurance company claims you were at fault for the car accident.
Steps to Take After The Accident
Being involved in any type of accident can be scary. It can be even scarier if you think you may be at fault for causing the accident. At hard as it might be, it is essential to remain calm and act immediately. If you are ever involved in an accident out on the road, stay on the scene and take the following steps.
1. Never Leave the Scene of the Accident
After the accident has occurred, remain calm and stay on the scene until authorities are notified. It is always best to stop and check for injuries in both your vehicle and other vehicles involved in any type of accident. If there are any serious injuries, call 911 immediately.
2. Exchange Information with Others
After checking for injuries, exchange information with any drivers involved in the accident. It is in your best interest to try to get the name, phone number, insurance carrier, and insurance policy number of any other driver involved in the accident.
3. Report the Accident to Police
Always report the accident to the police, no matter who you believe is at fault for the accident. Do not leave the scene of the accident until the police arrive.
4. Document the Accident as Much as Possible
While waiting for the police to arrive, document the scene of the accident as much as possible. Take as many photos of the scene as you can. Be sure to get photos of your car and any other car involved in the accident as well.
5. Contact Your Insurance Company
After speaking to the police and seeking proper medical attention following the accident, you will need to report the accident directly to your insurance company. While the insurance company may deem you at fault for the accident, you still need to report the accident to them.
Deciding Who’s to Blame for a Car Accident
Determining who is to blame for a car accident is never a clear-cut process. The environment can undoubtedly be heated directly after an accident, and accusations can start flying from all parties involved. If none of the drivers involved in the accident take responsibility for the accident, the fault will be determined through a different method.
1. The Police Report Decides Fault
After the accident, the police will be on the scene to investigate. Officers will likely talk to those involved and any witnesses as well. All of this information will be recorded in the police report, which can later be used to determine who was at fault for the accident.
2. The Insurance Companies Decide Fault
When drivers involved in the accident file a claim with their insurance company, their insurance will likely seek restitution from the insurance company of the other driver. If the matter can’t be settled between the two insurance companies, the dispute may go to arbitration.
3. Arbitration Decides Fault
Arbitration is often used by insurers to decide the extent of damages and who pays for them. Going through Arbitration helps to reduce the number of lawsuits insurers have to go through, so many large insurance companies utilize this method to determine fault.
4. A Jury Decides Fault
If fault can still not be determined by the other means, the case will go to court, and a jury will decide who is at fault for the accident. However, very few cases make it this far as it is a lengthy and expensive process.
Fault Is Never as Clear as You Think
If you think you were to blame for your car accident or your insurance company claims you were the at-fault driver, you can still file a personal injury claim if you were injured in the accident. Determining fault is never as straightforward as you think it is, and you may be able to prove that you were not the sole party responsible for the accident. In order to move forward with your personal injury claim, you will need the expertise of an experienced accident attorney on your side.
Consult with an Experienced Accident Lawyer Today
Car accidents can be devastating experiences. If you were injured in a car accident, you deserve experienced representation in order to receive the compensation you deserve. Even if you were involved in an at-fault car accident, we might be able to help you pursue a personal injury claim. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.