In most car accidents, it only takes a little common sense to determine who the careless party was in a given accident. When talking with your insurance company, your assertion that someone else was at fault carries a whole lot more “weight” if it is accompanied by “official” support. So when you are at the scene of your accident, here are a few things you can do to get the support you need to show that the accident was not your fault.
Police are generally dispatched to accident calls where there may be significant property damage and/or injuries. If the police did arrive at your accident, then most likely they will file an accident report. In Houston, the police officer will provide you with a case number that your insurance company will need. You can also use that case number to get a copy of your accident report.
Most times, a police officer will state their opinion on whose fault they determine it to be. He/she will write citations for any traffic violations that occurred and those violations sometimes determines fault. Occasionally, in the absence of actual traffic violations, the officer may indicate in the notes opinions of careless driving.
This document is very important in showing support for your claims to the insurance agency.
“No Doubt” Liability Situations
There are a few accidents which are considered no doubt, at fault accidents due to their nature. Even still, you should take care to document the accident with photos and get that police report. Your insurance company will want to know many details of the situation and events leading up to the accident to determine fault.
Some no doubt liability accidents include:
Rear-end Collisions – If you got hit from behind, it will almost always be the other persons fault regardless of why you stopped. Driving rules stipulate that everyone must drive at a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them to stop safely in case of an accident. If you get rear-ended, the fault will lie with the person that hit you. He or she may have a claim against the reason why you had to stop so suddenly but in virtually all cases, you will not be blamed in a rear-end accident where you were struck from behind.
Turning Accidents – A car making a turn into a street where the oncoming cars do not have a traffic light or any other signage that requires them to stop or yield will virtually always lay fault on the turning vehicle. The car making the turn is required to yield right of way to any oncoming traffic. There are very few exceptions to this near automatic rule. One is if the oncoming car was speeding excessively.
Car Accidents Are In the Details
The important thing to remember in any accident that you are involved in is first tend to any injuries you may have. It is important that you take care of your personal well-being. If you are not injured enough to get emergency transport to the hospital, get the police on the scene. Take photos of the accident as well as the area around such as the intersection. Basically paint a picture with your photos to show how the accident occurred. Get your case number from the police officer and then get a copy of your accident report. Many times, when you give your insurance company the case number, they will get a copy of your report but it is always good to see for yourself the determination of the accident according to the police officer.
Remain calm and get the other persons contact information and insurance information.