How Is Liability Determined in a Car Accident?
Fortunately, the majority of car accidents do not cause serious injuries, major property damage, and fatalities. Almost every motor vehicle accident is caused by human error, however. The crash could happen when one driver goes out of turn at a four-way stop, is texting and driving, and so forth. Sometimes, liability is clear-cut, but other times, it is difficult to prove.
For example, it is generally easy to determine who is liable for a rear-end accident. If one driver slams on the brakes because they spilled their coffee, the driver who did not have time to stop might only be partially responsible for what happened. When accidents happen at intersections and with multiple vehicles, determining liability can be even harder.
When law enforcement officers arrive at a crash scene, they write up a police report that provides insights into who may have been at fault. Drivers and witnesses might be interviewed at the scene, and their comments are recorded on these reports. A traffic citation can also be presented as evidence, but there are no guarantees.
Insurance companies assign adjusters after a car accident claim is made, and these individuals investigate what happened. Their job is to examine vehicles, read over medical reports, talk to witnesses, and verify what is covered by the policies.
The majority of car accident cases settle out of court, but others end up being heard in front of judges and juries. Police reports, traffic citations, and eyewitness statements can help build cases, and additional evidence may be obtained from expert witnesses and other professionals who help recreate accident scenes.
The court will then make decisions based on the evidence. If one driver is deemed negligent, they may have to pay the other party monetary compensation for injuries and other losses that resulted from the accident.
Choice No-Fault Insurance in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. has no-fault car insurance, but certain rules apply. In most places with no-fault insurance, the policyholder’s personal injury protection (PIP) auto insurance coverage pays for medical costs and other out-of-pocket expenses, no matter who is liable.
In Washington D.C., drivers can buy fault-based or no-fault liability coverage on their policy. After an accident, drivers who picked no-fault benefits have 60 days to receive compensation from their own policy or to pursue those benefits from the other party’s insurance. With no-fault claims, you will not be able to receive compensation for pain and suffering and non-economic losses. Besides that, picking the no-fault option after an accident means that you cannot file a claim against the liable driver unless your injuries meet specific thresholds.
Washington DC Car Wreck Lawyer at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Can Help Prove Liability
Understanding how to prove liability is no easy task, but our skilled Washington DC car wreck lawyer at the Law Offices of Duane O. King has the experience needed for your case. For a free consultation, complete our online form or call us at 202-331-1963. Our Washington, D.C., Alexandria, Virginia, and National Harbor, Maryland offices serve clients in Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.