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How Fault Is Determined After An Everett Car Accident

Posted on December 1, 2016Posted By Russell & Hill, PLLCPosted In Car Accident

After a car accident has occurred in Everett, victims are often in need of financial compensation. This money usually comes through the insurance company of the driver responsible. But before the insurance agency provides the money, they must first determine who was at fault for the accident. This will determine the amount of money that will be offered the damaged driver.

But how does this process work practically? Insurance agencies must ensure that they have a thorough and accurate understanding of how the accident unfolded before they decide who was at fault for the incident. This understanding is developed through collecting evidence from a number of resources.

Evidence Resources

Before determining who is responsible for an Everett car accident, the driver’s insurance agency must look at at a number of knowledgeable parties in order to determine which side of the accident was the negligent cause. The most common resources include:

  • Police reports
  • Driver statements
  • Eyewitness reports
  • Photos of the aftermath
  • Video footage
  • Skid marks
  • Paint and dents on damaged vehicles

In some situations, identifying the party at fault for an accident is simple and obvious, producing “no doubt” cases where the negligent driver is quickly determined. Many accidents that fall into this category are rear-ending and left turn accidents. Whether they ran into another vehicle from behind or turned into oncoming traffic who had the right-of-way, these cases are usually cleared up swiftly.

However, there are a number of accidents that are complicated and detailed enough that deeper investigations are required. Insurance agencies may be forced to look carefully at police reports, assign investigators, contact witnesses, and more before fault can be decided.

Washington State Pure Comparative Negligence

In some Everett car accidents, it is obvious that there is only one driver at fault. Other times, both drivers are partially responsible for the accident and their injuries. How do insurance agencies know how much to compensate each victim?

Different states have different ways of handling this scenario. In Washington state, we have a system of pure comparative negligence. This means that when more than one driver is responsible for an accident, the fault is divided between the drivers according to the degree they are respectively responsible. That degree of fault is assigned a percentage, and each offender is responsible to recompense injured parties according to that amount.

After being reviewed by a judge or jury, a decision will be made determining the level of responsibility each individual had for the accident. One driver may be 25 percent responsible, while the other 75 percent at fault. The amount of compensation due each driver is then calculated accordingly.

Everett Car Accident Attorney

While most insurance companies will do their best to calculate how much a driver deserves after a car accident, sometimes the total still is not quite right. If you have been injured in an Everett car accident and would like to pursue full and fair compensation for your injuries with a personal injury claim, our Everett car accident attorneys can help.

At Russell & Hill, PLLC, our attorneys are trained to help you analyze the facts, file a claim, work with insurance agents and doctors, and recover compensation for your injuries. For more information, contact us directly at 888-834-4228 or by filling out our contact form.

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