How Do Insurance Companies Decide Who is At Fault?

After every car accident, the involved insurance companies need to determine fault. Liability – the legal term for “blame” – is split among all parties that contributed to the accident, which might include parties that were not even present, like an automaker who sold a defective car. In most states, the less liability you are assigned – or the lower your percentage of liability – the more money you can recover from the other involved parties. This is why it is so important that you are given a low liability amount when the insurance companies decide liability.

To decide liability for a crash, an insurance company should use crash investigators to study what happened. They can send people to the scene and review statements to try to reach a fair liability decision. Investigators from the opposing insurance company will do the same thing. When both companies are concluded, they may enter discussions to decide the fair liability based on both companies’ findings.

How Long Does It Take for Insurance Companies to Decide Fault?

The amount of time needed for an insurance company to decide fault is not guaranteed. Some cases will take much less time to investigate if there is clearer evidence of liability to use. Others could take longer if issues surrounding the crash are convoluted.

However, insurance companies must reach a decision within a legal time limit, which varies from state to state. In some cases, the insurance company might have as little as a month to investigate a car accident and decide if it wants to blame you for it or not. At that point, the insurance company must tell you if your claim is denied or approved. It will deny your claim if it thinks you are the one who caused the crash.

What Happens You are Found at Fault?

When you disagree with the liability amount that the other insurance company wants to assign you is when you might want to consider legal action. With the help of a car accident attorney, they can reexamine the situation from a third-party perspective and look for ways to prove that your liability should be lower, perhaps down to 0%.

In some cases, your insurance company will also find you at fault for the accident. You don’t have to accept their word, either. You can also talk to an attorney about contesting the liability determination for the better.

Drivers in McAllen know they can count on Tijerina Legal Group, P.C. for reliable legal representation and guidance after a car accident. Our attorneys can look into the circumstances of your crash to challenge unfair insurance company liability determinations. But we can’t help unless you let us, so please contact our firm now.

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