How Fault is Determined After a Car Accident

Learn how insurance providers determine fault.How Fault is Determined After a Car Accident

If you drive, there’s a real possibility that you will get into an auto accident at some point in your life.  While accidents are, well, accidents, there is a need to determine which driver was technically at fault.  Here’s how insurance companies tend to determine fault after an auto accident.

Police Report

After an auto accident occurs, the official police report plays the largest role in determining which driver is at fault.  This is because the police’s version of the accident is generally more reliable than the stories told by those involved in the accident.  Insurance companies tend to use the police report to get an idea of which driver caused the accident to occur.

Your Evidence

While extremely important, the official police report isn’t the only thing that your insurer will take into account.  They will also use the evidence that you gather to help them determine the degree of fault.  For instance, photos you take of the accident scene and the information you gather from other drivers and witnesses can support your case and help your insurer get a better idea of what happened.


Ultimately, your insurer will do their best to get a clear understanding of the accident and determine fault fairly.  In the meantime, it’s extremely important that you avoid admitting fault at the scene of the accident.  You should fully cooperate with the other driver and with the police; state the facts about what happened honestly, but do not try to elaborate more than necessary.  It could be that the real cause of the accident was something you were unaware of.  Even if you are pretty sure that you are at fault, let the police and your insurer determine objectively.

This is how fault is generally determined after a car accident occurs.  Keep in mind that getting into an accident can have major effects on your auto insurance.  Curious to learn more about your policy might be affected?  Don’t hesitate to contact us at Desert Empire Insurance.  Our team is always ready to address your insurance questions or concerns.