After any car accident, it is natural to want answers. You may be stuck without your vehicle for the foreseeable future, and it is possible that you may have even sustained some injuries to your body as well as to your car. Accidents are an unfortunate part of the life of a motorist, but the aftermath of those accidents does not have to be a complicated matter. It is important to educate yourself on the liabilities and responsibilities of both parties after a car accident has taken place. Liability is decided solely based on the burden of fault.
When you are at fault
You will be deemed at fault for the accident when you were directly responsible for the situation that led to it. More often than not, this means that you were probably not paying attention, and might have been reading a map, texting or playing with your cell phone, reaching into the back seat, or talking to a passenger in your vehicle. If this is the case, you are going to be held liable for the accident.
When you are at fault, you are responsible for paying to repair or otherwise compensate for any damages or injuries caused by the accident. If you have good car insurance, your insurance provider will fight for you, but they may not be able to argue in your favor if the evidence is particularly incriminating. The coverage your insurance will provide completely depends upon your policy. If the damages received by the other driver exceed that coverage limit, you will be responsible for paying the rest out of pocket. If you do not have car insurance at all, you are responsible for paying for the damages as well as any fees incurred for not being an insured driver.
When you are deemed at fault, the other party is not liable for anything. Payment falls to your insurance provider, and to you, without any compensation required from the other party. After the payment is taken care of, you will probably see an increase in your insurance rates because you are no longer considered a safe driver.
When you are not at fault
Sometimes, the other driver is responsible for road negligence. If this is the verdict, then the other driver will hold the same liabilities that you would have if you had been deemed at fault. In some instances, however, neither party is at fault, and the accident is caused by weather, debris in the road, or even road construction. The real culprit of the accident might also be a malfunctioning of your vehicle, or of the other driver’s vehicle. In these situations, no one is at fault, and both parties are simply responsible for paying for their own repairs and any other services required after the accident.
When the other driver is at fault, he or she is liable for all damages and injury. Payment will likely come from the other driver’s insurance company. In a no-fault situation, no one is liable for anything. In both of these situations, you should not see an increase in your insurance rates, but it is still possible.