In Mesa, When Is a Car Accident Your Fault?
When is a car accident your fault in Mesa AZ?
Determining who is at fault
Determining who is at fault in an auto accident usually comes down to whoever was most negligent prior to the car accident in Mesa. For example, if one car ran a red light and collided with another car in the intersection, it’s quite obvious who is at fault and therefore responsible for any injuries or property damage that they incurred. However, there are many cases where it’s more difficult to tell which party to blame, which is further complicated by the fact that the police, insurance agencies, and courts all might have different determinations of who was at fault.
Following a car accident, the police fill out a police report with the details of what transpired before, during, and after the accident. They compile this information by interviewing any drivers involved and any potential witnesses in the area who might have witnessed it from a different perspective. Once they have completed their report, they can submit who they believe is at fault for the accident; however, they are not required to do so, meaning that oftentimes police reports are submitted without ever inferring who they believe to be the guilty party. The officer might also issue a traffic citation at the scene of the accident, which can be used in court as proof of negligence.
Once the insurance company is notified
Once the insurance company is notified of the accident, they bring in an adjuster/adjusters to oversee the claim and investigate the details of the situation. These adjusters are very thorough in their research of the details of the accident, ranging from examining the damage to the vehicles to speaking with witnesses and looking at the medical reports of those involved. Finally, based off of the data accumulated during their investigation, the adjuster will assign the blame or a percentage of the blame to one or more of the parties involved, accounting for coverage accorded to them by their insurance policies.
If an aggrieved party was to file a suit after an accident, the court will determine whether or not the defendant is negligent and therefore responsible for the payment of damages incurred. During this court case, the judge will weigh the arguments and evidence presented to them by each party’s lawyers, with the judge or jury (depending on who is responsible for ruling on the case) determining at the end whether the case has any merit. During this process, it is important to note that the rulings made by the insurance company or the police report will not control the outcome of the case, especially as police reports are considered hearsay. However, as mentioned before, any traffic citations issued by the police at the scene of the accident might be used as evidence of one driver’s negligence, contributing to the overall strength of his or her opponent’s argument.