How Is Fault Determined?

The initial shock of an accident can leave you scared, dazed or even injured. So what should you do next?  Determining who caused the accident is the key thing to prove to your insurance company and also to pursue legal action if you have been injured.

Fault depends on the state’s definition of negligence. Negligence laws differ per state, so always find out what the law is that pertains to your state. There are three types of negligence that the insurance companies use to determine fault after an accident.

  • Comparative Negligence is your percentage of fault compared to the other driver. This type of negligence allows you to seek damages if you are only partially at fault. So for example, if the driver involved was 60% at fault then you can seek up to 60% of the settlement from the other driver’s insurance.
  • Modified Comparative Negligence is used in some states to limit the ability to file a claim through the other driver’s insurance. For example you cannot seek damages in Illinois if you are found to be more than 50% at fault.
  • Contributory negligence is determined when the driver is 0%  at fault for an accident. So a legal parked car getting hit by another car is an example of this.

How to prove your case

Obtain a police report

The police report is made at the scene right after the accident. The objective of the officer is to accurately described what events took place. The insurance companies use this to help determine who was at fault

Get Evidence

The more evidence obtained will help you make your case strong and prove the other drive was at fault. Take pictures at the scene and gather information from eyewitnesses of the accident.

Never admit fault

Always state facts and be as accurate as possible when speaking with officers, but never admit fault. This can have consequences that may be unknown to you at the time of the accident. Allow a thorough investigation to take place from the police.


If you have been injured or have any questions after your car accident, you can always reach out to a car accident attorney. Babcock Partners, LLC are available 24/7 with car accident attorneys in Louisiana who can assist you every step of the way if you have been injured and want to pursue legal actions.