How Insurance Companies Determine Who Is At Fault
Insurance companies deal with car accidents and injury cases every day here in California, but that doesn’t mean they treat everybody fairly and you can just trust them.
Insurance companies are big businesses and if you are an accident victim then you need to be careful about dealing with insurance companies and adjusters.
Once a claim is filed with an insurance company right after a car accident, the insurance company will assign the claim to an adjuster in the local area.
The adjuster works for the insurance company and oversees the investigation into the accident and the settlement of the actual claim.
Normally there will be 2 adjustors in this process, each driver’s insurance company will choose an adjustor to look into the car accident.
The adjuster has a very specific job which is to research the car accident and speak with any witnesses.
Also, the adjuster needs to look at the vehicle damage, medical reports, police report, and verify details about the insurance policies for the drivers involved (coverage amounts, etc.).
In the end, the adjuster needs to determine who is at fault for the car crash or potentially assigning a partial % of the blame to both parties.
Generally, the insurance companies will determine fault for the car accident based on “the legal definition” in California.
A person is considered negligent when they fail to exercise the good judgment that a reasonable person would demonstrate.
So a driver who runs a stop sign at 50 mph and slams into another driver (who has the right of way) is likely going to be found negligent and would then be found at fault for the car wreck.
Why Contact The Law Offices of Daniel Kim?
Daniel Kim and his legal team have years of experience helping accident victims all over California.
We have over 1000 reviews (all 5 stars) on Google and Yelp and we take great pride in our stellar reputation.
Our law firm exclusively deals with auto accidents so we offer the best representation for people needing a car accident lawyer.
We handle all types of motor vehicle accident cases including motorcycle, bike, trucks, Uber, pedestrian, and car crashes.
Daniel is an aggressive injury lawyer here in Orange County and an expert negotiator when it comes to dealing with insurance companies.
It doesn’t matter if you were hit by a distracted driver or if you were an Uber passenger who got injured, Daniel can and will help you.
Mr. Daniel Kim treats all of his clients (and people in general) with respect and compassion, and this isn’t something you see every day with injury lawyers.
We are available 7 days a week, so call for a free consultation today.
Should I Call My Insurance After an Accident?
The simple answer is yes.
If you are involved in a car accident where you suffered injuries, then you want to contact your insurance company regardless of who is at fault or if you were hit by an uninsured driver.
Many people believe that if they aren’t at fault for an accident that they don’t need to contact their insurance company, but that is not wise.
There are several coverages within your insurance policy that you might want to use, and in order to use these specific coverages then you need to notify your insurance company.
Again, we recommend that you contact our law office today to get answers to your questions about how to handle the process after being injured in a car accident.
Something like towing insurance coverage (that you might have) can come in handy if your vehicle had to be towed because it could cover the cost of towing your car.
Will My Insurance Rate Go Up if Somebody Hits Me?
Living in California does have a lot of perks, and one good thing is that if you are involved in a car accident, but you are not at fault, then It is illegal for your insurance company to raise your rates.
Of course, dealing with an insurance company after a car accident is a total hassle and you need to be careful about what you say to the insurance adjuster or anybody at the insurance company.
We advise any accident victims to call us before they start giving statements to your insurance company.
You have to remember that insurance companies are not in the business of giving out money.
Will the Other Person’s Insurance Pay for My Rental Car?
If your vehicle is damaged (with or without injuries) by another driver who is at fault, then you might be entitled to rental car coverage from their insurance provider while your car is in the shop being repaired.
This is why it’s so important to gather all the vital information at the accident scene from the other driver because ideally their insurance company will claim liability and provide a rental car for you rather quickly.
Don’t be surprised though when the insurance companies ignore you or just give you a hard time.
Our advice is to contact a top personal injury lawyer like Daniel Kim if you’ve been injured because you don’t want to fight the insurance companies alone.
After an accident where there are injuries, life can get complicated really quickly and for most people it becomes overwhelming.
Don’t be intimidated by the insurance companies, instead, call us today.
When to Hire an Attorney for My Accident
After an accident it’s the same feeling for everybody, it’s almost like your life gets put on hold while you wait for the insurance companies to help you.
If you are dealing with injuries from a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, you have legal rights.
Getting financial compensation won’t make your injuries go away, but it will help eliminate financial stress and worry.
Once you have gotten medical treatment and are back at home, it’s probably best to contact our law firm for answers.
Below are some reasons why you need an injury lawyer:
- Proving fault or liability is difficult
- The insurance companies are not your friends
- Negotiating a settlement can be difficult and complicated
- Some injury settlements are taxable
- Filing a lawsuit is not easy without a lawyer
- Insurance companies use your stress against you
- Multiple parties involved make a case hard to deal with
How to Gather Evidence at the Accident Scene
If you are involved in a car accident it is very important to stay calm and follow a certain process at the scene of the accident (unless of course you can’t because you are taken by ambulance).
It doesn’t matter if you got hit by an Uber Eats driver, an Amazon delivery driver, a semi-truck, or just a normal person driving a Honda Accord, you need to gather evidence.
There are a few things you need to do to protect yourself and your legal rights regarding the accident and your injuries.
- You need to get the names of any witnesses and get their contact information.
- Be sure to take pictures (of damages to cars, road signs, etc.) before leaving the accident scene.
- Call the police so they can document it all and create a police report
- Be sure to get information from another driver like their license, insurance, etc.
Most of the time there will be witnesses that saw the accident, and you need to speak to them especially if you were not at fault.
It can be crucial to your injury claim to have third parties verify that you weren’t at fault.
Many times liability in a motor vehicle accident case will just be a matter of the defendant’s word versus your word, meaning witnesses are super important.
With modern technology, we all have a cell phone that will allow you to take photographs of the car accident scene to help further prove your story.
Get as many pics of the cars involved, any debris like bumpers, broken windows, etc., and it’s important to get pictures from different angles to really help show what happened.
It’s also important to call the police and ask them to respond to the scene. Any police report that gets generated in connection with the accident will typically offer the officer’s notes about the extent of the vehicle damage.
How Police Determine Fault in a Car Accident
Once a car accident is reported to the police department the responding officers are responsible for filing a police report.
At the accident scene, a police officer will interview the drivers and any witnesses about the car accident, when they will ask a bunch of questions to help piece together an accurate story of what happened.
After the police officer decides that they have enough information they will submit their report to their local department.
Normally, the police report will contain statements about who was at fault for an auto accident based mainly on the police officer’s judgment.
Many times a police report will not include a determination of fault.
This is very important to understand because even if a police report states who is responsible for a car accident it doesn’t mean for sure that the person will be held legally responsible.