When an auto accident occurs, one party or the other is typically determined to be “at fault”. In other words, they are the individual who caused the crash to happen, either by negligence or by accident. Regardless, fault is usually determined. If a police report is created as a result of an auto accident, there is usually a party faulted for the accident – typically whomever failed to obey traffic laws. Insurance companies then tend to identify fault based on those facts.
The insurance company’s decision on who is at fault for an auto accident makes all the difference. You could be paying more out-of-pocket than you imagine, depending on whether you are at fault for the accident. Georgia is an at-fault state, which means the driver responsible for the accident is liable for vehicle damage, medical bills and all other related expenses. But how do they decide where to place blame?
Car insurance companies determine fault by investigating the accident. If you need compensation after an accident, a claim must be filed with your insurance provider. When the claim is filed, an insurance adjuster will gather the necessary details to decide who is at fault for the accident and who will be paying.
The adjuster will use all available evidence at their disposal to determine fault, including, but not limited to:
- Police report
- Witness statements
- Medical records
- Special algorithms
Based on the adjuster’s review, the insurance company makes the final determination. However, fault is not always black and white. The question of negligence is also a determining factor in how much you will be paying for your accident. In Georgia, both drivers can be found negligent, but only one driver can be the cause of the accident. Insurance companies will only pay for the percentage of fault that they have determined their insured is responsible for.