Automobile accidents can be difficult to decipher when all parties are attempting to determine what actually occurred in the mishap. Accidents involving multiple vehicles can be especially problematic. The determination of fault in all accidents is primarily done by accident re-constructionists for each party involved. There are some basic rules that are used in establishment of fault, though many accidents are finalized as no-fault with no one individual found being the cause of the accident.
The Law Of Vehicular Control
The law of vehicular control can be very simple in common two-car accidents, though it is not quite as simple in accidents involving commercial vehicles. Damage can be the direct result of the differences in vehicle size. Many large commercial vehicles have a much longer stopping distance than smaller cars and can be problematic in this determination. This is the law that assumes that the vehicle in the rear of an accident is normally at fault. It is important to understand that there are times when this is not the case.
Most states make exceptions for individuals in an accident that are found to be driving under the influence of alcohol or listed controlled substances. Some states exclude individuals that are using a professionally prescribed substance in accordance with the directions. They could still be charged with driving under the influence, but are not automatically at fault because of the medication. Individuals that have blood tests resulting in illegal toxicology levels or illegal controlled substances are automatically in violation of the law of vehicular control due to the toxicology results.
All insurance companies employ accident re-constructionists. Most of them are retired police officers that have extensive experience in initial independent determination of accident fault. Likewise, all experienced accident and personal injury attorneys employ re-constructionists also to assist in developing an argument in a contested adjudication of a mishap. In multiple car accidents each party will have its own team of professionals presenting arguments to the court.
This normally includes an accident avoidance assessment which is usually part of the official independent accident report by officers responding to the accident. Reports are usually prepared by the ranking officer in charge of clearing the roadway and unraveling the wreck. According to our Indiana personal injury attorney, many times fault is assessed by eye-witnesses and corroborating statements from accident witnesses. The drivers are not always the best sources of information, as third party eye-witnesses can have a much better vantage point.
No-Fault & Partial-Fault
Accidents regularly are finalized with no driver at fault. These cases are classified as common accidents. Many states have no-fault insurance laws and settlements become the responsibility of the insurance companies involved. In cases where both parties have the same insurance company, this becomes an academic point as the company attempts to pay out as little as possible to all parties involved. This can also easily result in policy cancellation based on the company assessment of the facts. Additionally, multiple-car accidents can be assessed as partial-fault accidents, which is a very common occurrence.
It is important to remember that the assumption of the “driver in the rear” as being at fault is not always the case. Generally, it can be the final court finding, but there are always mitigating circumstances in all accidents. The important thing in avoiding accident fault is always obeying the traffic laws and impaired driving statutes of the particular state, including wearing seat belts. The motorist should always buckle up and drive sober.
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