If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident in California, there are several different ways that fault could be determined, and not all of them are to your advantage. Sometimes, in the immediate aftermath, you may decide that the accident was obviously your fault and say so. One problem with this is that there could be factors that you are unaware of that could affect who is at fault. You might also be intimidated by the other driver or stressed out by the accident and could rush to admit fault when it is not the case.
Who may determine fault
Police might determine who is at fault in their report, but this is also not necessarily accurate. The insurance company will review the police report in deciding how to proceed. This could create conflict since you may not agree with the insurance company’s decision. These disputes sometimes end up in small claims court. They could also go to arbitration or even to a jury trial.
Pursuing a legal claim
Most cases do not end up going to trial and are instead settled out of court. People who are seriously injured in car accidents may feel that it is worthwhile to pursue the determination of fault through a settlement or trial because the compensation could be critical for them and their families. Costs covered could include medical expenses and lost wages.
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may want to contact an attorney to determine what steps to take next. An attorney might be able to negotiate with the insurance company to get the compensation that you need or advise you regarding whether you should move forward with a lawsuit.