Overhead view of a car accident on a busy street

How Fault Is Determined in a Car Accident

Did you or someone you know recently suffer from an automobile collision?

Accidents can happen to anyone at any time and they can happen anywhere. One of the most common accidents is a car accident. When you caught yourself in such, it is best to know who’s at fault.

The ability to determine fault can be paramount in court when establishing liability. But how do you determine who is to blame when there are two cars or trucks involved in a collision? Figuring it out can be stressful but this guide is here to help you!

Continue reading to learn more about fault determination in a car accident.

Knowing What Happened

Car accident fault is determined by looking at the totality of the circumstances. This includes looking at the driving record of the drivers involved, the statements of the drivers and the witnesses, the road and weather conditions, and the damage to the vehicles.

In some cases, reconstruction of the accident may be necessary. This will help you illustrate what happened in the accident and understand the situation more.

Police Report

Fault in a car accident is generally determined by the police officer who responds to the scene of the accident and files a police report. The report will generally include a determination of who was at fault based on the officer’s observation of the damage to the vehicles and the position of the vehicles.

The officer will also take statements from the drivers and any witnesses to the accident. Based on all of this information, the officer will determine who is at fault for the accident.

Insurance Adjuster

Car insurance adjusters do this by looking at the police report, talking to witnesses, and talking to the people involved in the accident. Adjusters also look at physical evidence like property damage and injuries to determine who is at fault. In some instances, the fault may be shared between parties involved in the accident.


Arbitration is one way that these cases can be settled outside of court. When two or more parties agree to allow an arbitrator to hear and decide the car accident case, they are essentially waiving their right to have a trial. The arbitrator will review all of the evidence and make a decision based on what they believe is fair.

Through the Jury

The jury will hear from both sides and will decide who is at fault. This is while considering the severity of the accident, the damages, and the injuries. They will also consider the testimony of the witnesses.

The jury will decide based on the evidence that is presented, then car accident compensation laws may take into effect in terms of damages and fees.

Knowing Who’s to Blame in a Car Accident

Fault in a car accident is generally determined by which driver violated the right-of-way rules. In identifying who’s to blame, knowing what happen, along with the help of arbitrators, insurance adjusters and police reports can help. Ultimately, a jury will have the final decision on who’s at fault if the case is brought to court. If you have questions, call a Baltimore Car Accident Attorney for more info.

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