If you are involved in a car accident in Washington, one of the first questions you may need to resolve in order to be compensated for the crash is, “Who was at fault?” While this may seem like a simple question to answer at first, most car accidents are multi-faceted, and the determination of fault can be complex.
Fault and insurance
When you file an insurance claim following a car crash, the insurer will assign fault to one party or the other. Your insurer will compensate you per the terms of your policy. If it is determined that the other party is at fault, your insurer will then seek reimbursement from the other driver’s insurer for the damages they paid out.
It is important to remember that you need to tread carefully when it comes to insurance and a car crash. While you must work with your insurer following a crash, you are under no duty to speak to the other party’s insurer. If you do, they may try to get you to admit fault, which could negatively impact your case.
Negligence and car crashes
Insurers are ultimately looking out for their bottom line. If the payout they offer is too low, it may not cover all the damages you suffered in the crash. If so, you may want to pursue legal action against the other driver.
Personal injury lawsuits are generally based on the legal theory of negligence. Simply put, this means a driver is negligent if they did not exercise the care needed to operate their vehicle safely. If their negligence caused the crash you were injured in, you can hold them liable for your damages.
Ultimately, if you pursue a personal injury lawsuit the jury is the body that will decide who is at fault. If it is determined that the other party was at fault you could be compensated for the damages you suffered, providing you with the financial resources you need following the crash.