When you are in a car accident, you may go into shock. You will feel anxious and have shallow breathing. You might not be able to remember what just happened. You may not know who caused the accident. There are a few different things an insurance adjuster will look at to determine who caused an accident. It is helpful to know what those things are. If you disagree with the adjuster, you will want to call a car accident lawyer for a free consultation.
The Police Report
One of the first things an insurance adjuster will look at when they evaluate your case is the police report. When you have an accident, you will contact the police and wait for them to arrive. The police will interview everyone at the scene and look at the position of the two cars. They should note weather conditions and any obstacles that were on the road.
You should always ask for a copy of the police report, if there’s anything in the report that you disagree with, you should let the insurance adjuster know. It is also a good idea to contact a lawyer at this point.
Was Either Driver Doing Something Illegal?
If one of the drivers in an accident was doing something illegal and the other driver was not, the driver who was doing something illegal will normally be considered responsible for the accident. For example, if one driver ran a red light and T-boned the other car, the driver who ran the light would be held responsible for the accident. However, some cases are not so black and white. If one car ran a red light and the car they T-boned was speeding, both people may be considered responsible for the accident.
In the state of California, drivers are held responsible for the percentage of an accident that they cause. For example, if you caused 20% of an accident, you would only be able to recover 80% of the cost of your bills and damages.
Whenever you have an accident, you should always try to get the names and telephone numbers of anyone who may have seen the collision.
Witness statements are very important to insurance adjusters. In many cases, they are more important to them than the testimony of the drivers. A witness gives an objective view of what happened.
Any adjuster will want to see pictures of the accident. They will also want to see a report from the mechanics who worked on the cars. A mechanic can give an objective professional opinion of who is responsible.
Surveillance footage is also helpful in a traffic accident case. The city or state government may have surveillance cameras in the area. Local businesses may also have cameras that can be subpoenaed in a court case.
Still photographs can also be analyzed by a forensic expert who is trained and determining who caused the crash by looking at things like the position of the two cars, skid marks, traffic signals, and any obstacles that might be in the way.
Insurance adjusters work for insurance companies and try to keep the company’s money in-house. An injury lawyer can help get you the money to which you are entitled.