When you have been involved in a car accident in Richmond Hill or the surrounding vicinity, your insurance adjuster will be looking for damage as well as liability. In the industry, these rules can be complex and determinations can be subjective. Because these insurance determinations can seem unfair, they can often lead to many contentious disputes. That is why having the advice of a Richmond Hill injury lawyer can be your most important decision after an accident.
How Do Insurance Companies Determine Fault?
Under California law, negligence is the failure to use reasonable care to prevent harm to oneself or to others. These can include actions such as texting, driving while intoxicated, speeding or any other variety of actions that render a driver careless. Insurance companies must abide by this law when making their own determinations about fault.
What Factors are Used by Insurance Companies?
When determining fault in a car accident, the insurance company will use different factors and evidence to come up with their decisions.
● The police report — the official police report of the accident offers an insurance adjuster valuable information about what happened in the accident. But because the police officer was not there at the time of the accident and did not see it firsthand, an adjuster can only give it so much credence when making their decision.
● Remarks made by the drivers — when discussing an accident with an insurance adjuster, it’s important to weigh the words you use because they can be used against you in a claim. Even what could be considered as a polite apology after an accident can be used as an admission of guilt. Because an insurance company wants to limit their financial exposure in a claim, the adjuster will be looking for any evidence of fault. This is why Richmond Hill personal injury attorneys suggest you keep any conversations with the insurance companies to the basic facts.
● Witness statements — the insurance adjuster will want to talk to any eye-witnesses to the accident which will also include the other involved driver, passengers, pedestrians or other drivers or people nearby who may have witnessed the accident.
● Photographs or videos — photographs and video footage offers some of the most reliable proof of what happened during an accident. Even from looking at detailed photos of damage, experts can often tell what happened during the accident. Adjusters will look at photos or videos from witnesses, traffic cams or nearby surveillance footage if necessary.
● Recorded statements and depositions — insurance adjusters will often ask you to give a recorded statement within hours or days of the accident. Care should be taken when giving any recorded statement to any insurance representative.
The Insurance Company Must Abide by the Law
Fortunately, insurance companies must abide by the law. A decision by an insurance company is essentially an opinion and a driver has the right to challenge it. Because an insurance company has a financial stake in the determination of a claim, they have a strong incentive to find their insured innocent of any wrongdoing. This is when having the skill of a Richmond Hill injury attorney can help.
Get Professional Advice
If you have been involved in a car accident, don’t go into insurance negotiations alone. Get the advice and representation you need to ensure that your claim is being fairly addressed. The Richmond Hill personal injury lawyers at RPC Law would be glad to discuss your options with a no-cost consultation.