When you must file a claim for compensation with the negligent driver’s insurance company, you want your claim to be resolved quickly and for what you deserve. In many cases, there will be disputes regarding who was at fault in causing the crash or the seriousness of your injuries. You cannot always avoid these disagreements—even if these issues seem straightforward to you. However, one strategy to help you obtain a fair settlement faster is to convince the insurance adjuster of the clear-cut liability of his insured driver. How do you do this? One useful way is to show that predetermined fault applies in your case.
What Is Predetermined Fault?
You can use the theory of predetermined fault to cut down on arguments about the other driver’s liability when his negligence is so obvious that he would almost always be the one at fault. In these types of cases, even insurance adjusters recognize that it is a waste of time to argue liability. However, this does not mean the adjuster will not dispute the amount you are entitled to or claim that a preexisting injury and not the crash caused your injuries.
Types of Cases Where Negligence Is Presumed Based on Predetermined Fault
In certain types of car crashes, the cause of the accident will almost always clearly be one driver’s fault. If you were hurt in one of these accidents caused by another driver, predetermined fault could make proving liability easier:
- Rear-end collision. Rear-end collisions are a very common type of accident that causes surprisingly serious injuries—especially if you are rear-ended on the highway. The driver who hit you is almost always found at fault under the theory of predetermined fault. That is because all drivers are required to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them so they have sufficient time to stop—even in an emergency situation.
- Left hand turns. Accidents caused when drivers improperly make left hand turns into oncoming traffic also are presumed to be the fault of the left-turning driver. Traffic laws require drivers to yield to other motorists and to only turn left when it is completely safe.
Cases Where Predetermined Fault Is Not as Obvious
In some collisions, the predetermined fault of the negligent driver is not as clear cut and is based on the particular facts of the crash. Predetermined fault could apply in these situations:
- Cutting over lanes of traffic. If a driver negligently cuts across several lanes of traffic on a congested road or highway, especially to not miss an exit, he could be found at fault without much argument if he causes a crash.
- Intoxication. Given the well-known dangers of driving when intoxicated by alcohol or drugs, a person who does so will find it difficult to argue against liability if he injures someone in a wreck.
- Driving with a suspended or revoked license. Especially if a driver’s license was suspended for a DUI, reckless driving, or speeding, his insurance adjuster will find it harder to argue about fault.
The Best Way to Prove Predetermined Fault
Even if you believe liability in your case falls under predetermined fault, you will still have to prove this to the insurance adjuster. How do you do this? The best way is to obtain a copy of the police report. The police officer is trained to conduct accident investigations and will most likely have extensive experience at crash scenes. His observations regarding the cause of the crash will have greater weight than other evidence with the adjuster. If the police report notes that the other driver improperly rear-ended you or turned left when you had the right of way, this will go a long way to establishing predetermined fault. It is even better if the other driver was issued a citation for this.
When predetermined fault establishes liability, you still do not want to negotiate with the negligent driver’s insurance company on your own. Start an online chat or fill out our online form to schedule a free case evaluation to learn how you can hold the negligent driver responsible for compensating you.
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