An insurance adjuster will use a variety of methods to investigate the incident and determine the specifics of how the accident occurred, and who was at fault.
If you’ve recently been involved in a St. Louis car accident, you may be wondering if you’ll be found at fault for the accident, or if the other party will be found to be at fault by the insurance companies involved in the incident.
How do insurance companies determine fault? How do you know if you’ll be found at fault, or if you can contest fault with the help of a St. Louis car accident attorney?
How Fault Is Determined in a St. Louis Car Accident
Once an insurance company has had a claim filed after a car accident, the claim is assigned to an insurance adjuster. This person is responsible for overseeing the investigation. Usually, both insurance companies will use an adjuster to investigate the claim.
The adjuster will then use a variety of methods to investigate the incident and determine the specifics of how the accident occurred, and who was at fault. This usually includes:
- Speaking to the drivers of the vehicles
- Speaking to eyewitnesses
- Looking at medical reports
- Examining vehicle damage
- Reconstructing the accident
- Viewing police reports or speaking with police, and verifying issued citations
After conducting all of this research and looking into the incident, the adjusters will determine the at-fault party, and use this information to resolve the case and determine the level of fault for each person involved. However, it may be possible to challenge these findings with the help of a St. Louis car accident lawyer.
Understanding “Shared Fault” In Missouri
Missouri, like many other states, has a “shared fault” rule that may apply if you are found to share part of the fault for the accident.
This means that your compensation can be reduced by a percentage amount of your fault, no matter how small or large this percentage might be.
For example, let’s say you were rear-ended by a car at a stoplight, but it was almost dusk and you had not yet turned on your vehicle’s lights.
Your damages are determined to be $15,000, but you are found to be 20% at fault for the accident, while the other driver was at 80% fault. This means your maximum recoverable damages will only be $12,000.
Speak With a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer
If you would like to challenge the findings of an insurance adjuster who claims you were partially at fault or fully at fault for an accident that resulted in an injury, an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney can help.
With the help of a lawyer, you may be able to challenge the finding of an insurance adjuster and seek further compensation, or even file a civil suit after your car accident.