Car Accident

If you’ve ever had a crash, aside from any injuries incurred, one of the things that can cause the most stress is knowing how to determine fault in a car accident.

The last thing you want in the middle of an already traumatic situation is a complicated argument about who was to blame. Thankfully there are steps you can take to help make this discussion easier for all parties.

Read on to discover these steps – even if you haven’t had an accident recently it’s good to know in advance.

How to Determine Fault in a Car Accident

There are a number of parties involved in officially stating who is at fault, beyond those actually involved in the accident. The police, courts, and insurance companies will all work together to come to a final, official decision.


The police will likely be the first on the scene as someone will usually call to report a car accident, and it is their responsibility to document and report on the immediate situation. Police will interview all drivers, passengers, and witnesses in order to build a story of what happened. 

These findings will be submitted to the department, but these reports do not always contain a determination of fault, and even in cases when the fault is placed on someone, this may not mean that they are legally liable.

It may however be used as evidence, along with any traffic violations attributed to the defendant.


Hopefully, you will not have to face court after an accident, but in some cases, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit if one party feels that they should be compensated for injuries or vehicle damage.

In these cases, courts will determine fault based on whether the defendant was negligent. Evidence will be brought forward by both parties and either a judge or jury will decide if the defendant lacked caution or responsibility. 

Insurance Companies

Insurance companies are often the first call made after the emergency services in the event of an accident. Every driver involved, provided they have insurance, will make a claim, and the insurance company will assign an adjuster to the case.

The adjustor’s job is to oversee the investigations into who was at fault for the accident, and ultimately the settlement of the insurance claim. They will investigate the accident by interviewing witnesses, examining vehicle damage, and even looking at medical reports.

Once this assessment is complete, the adjuster will work with adjusters from other insurance companies and apportion a percentage of the total costs of the accident and indemnify drivers where necessary.

A Basic Guide to Determining Fault

The information in this blog about how to determine fault in a car accident is scratching the surface at the meticulous detail paid by police, courts, and insurance companies. This should be a comfort if you are in an accident that you feel was not your fault.

For more advice and information on not just legal matters, but all things motoring, check out some more articles on the blog.