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Determining Fault in a Car Accident

by | Jul 1, 2024 | Laws | 0 comments

In the United States, there are fourteen states that have “no fault” car accident laws except in situations of gross negligence and other certain exceptions.  Luckily, Missouri is not one of those states.  This is good, because that means the victim can recover for injuries they endured from the at-fault driver. How is fault determined?

Traffic Laws

One way fault can be determined is by determining first who committed a traffic violation. First and foremost, if you are involved in an accident, you should always summon a police officer to the scene. Police officers are trained in first aid and can also call Firefighters/EMS to the scene if injuries are significant enough.

Second, police officers can prepare factual, non-biased reports that record the statements of the drivers, any passengers in the cars involved, witnesses, and bystanders that may have seen the accident. They can also recover footage of the accident if it exists. All these records are key to determining who is at fault.

Third, police officers can determine if one of the parties committed a traffic violation and issue the offending party a ticket. For example, if a motorist runs a red light and T-bones another car driving through the intersection, the police officer can write a ticket to the driver that ran the red light and caused the accident. All of this will be documented in the police report.

Lastly, insurance companies prefer to have police reports because they are unbiased, official government documents. Being able to provide your insurance company with the police report expedites their process of determining who is at fault. If no police report is prepared, the insurance companies will generally contact the parties and gather statements themselves, which can take days, if not weeks or months to complete.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, don’t hesitate-call us today for a free consultation.  The longer you wait, the more likely evidence is to spoil.

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