Did I Cause a Crash? How Do I Know?

Car Accident, Car Crash, Car

Did I cause a crash? Many of us ask ourselves this question after an accident, especially when several people with different points of view are involved. And for good reason. Just weeks ago, a police officer in New York was killed while responding to a crash caused by a drunk driver. The drunk driver is charged in relation to the death, even though he didn’t hit the officer. Prosecutors claim that he is responsible since he started the chain of events which eventually led to the officer’s death.

Can you cause a crash without even being in a car? This is just one of the many questions surrounding the topic of fault in car accidents.

What to Do Immediately After a Crash

  • Provide all required information to the other driver and to the police.
  • Take pictures so that you have evidence of what really happened.
  • Ask witnesses to stay and testify to police.
  • Don’t admit any wrongdoing. This can be used against you when officials are determining fault.
  • If you’ve been injured, receive treatment and keep everything documented.

Determining Who Caused a Crash

In serious accidents, the legal system and its judges will decide who is at fault. Accident reports and investigations by law enforcement will place certain proportions of blame on the people involved. You need to understand how they identify your role in the crash in order to communicate with your insurance company. Here are a few facts to help you understand what you can do to help yourself after an accident.

  • Most insurance companies go by the state’s definition of negligence.
    • Utah uses the “Modified Comparative Fault” definition and the further clarifying definition of the “50% Bar Rule.”
    • This means that you cannot receive compensation if you are 50% or more at fault.
  • Utah law requires that drivers carry both no-fault insurance and liability insurance.
    • No-Fault Insurance
      • You must carry no-fault insurance or personal injury protection coverage.
      • This means that after an accident, all medical costs will be covered, no matter who caused the accident.
    • Liability Insurance
      • This helps you pay for the medical costs and damages of other drivers in an accident you caused.

At Christensen and Hymas, we can help you if you’ve been injured in an accident. Trying to tackle your insurance, other drivers and their insurance, medical bills, car repairs, and legal processes can be overwhelming. We are here to help you figure things out and win your case. Contact us today to schedule a free, non-committal legal consultation.

 

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Russ Hymas
Managing Partner at Christensen & Hymas
Russ Hymas is the managing partner at Christensen & Hymas. He promotes awareness of legal issues and drives positive change in the cycling community.

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