What Happens if You Are At Fault for a Car Accident

No one likes the idea of being involved in a car accident. The idea of being the one to cause an accident is even less appealing. Most people are never in this situation, and assume they never will be, which is why most people have no idea what happens when they cause an accident. This guide will explain what happens next and what your options are.

Your Obligations

When you cause an accident, you are legally responsible for compensating all other drivers involved in the crash. If you have insurance, then it is really your insurance provider that will compensate the other drivers, although your rates will increase.

It is important to understand that having insurance is a legal obligation in every state of the United States. Specifically, you are obligated to have coverage for any other drivers. It is optional whether you have insurance to cover your own vehicle. Additionally, your policy may not cover all the damage to the other drivers. If this happens, you will be responsible for covering the difference out of your own pocket.

After the accident, your insurance provider will investigate the accident and negotiate with the insurance providers of the other drivers. It is possible that you are only partially at fault. If this happens, you may not be required to compensate the other drivers entirely. Each state has different laws and regulations on this matter. In some states, it is impossible for someone to be partially at fault. You should research the laws in your state or speak with an attorney.

Your Options

If you do not have insurance, what are your options? You are still obligated to compensate the other driver out of your own pocket. These are the options you have available to you:

  • Agree to pay for all damages
  • Refuse to pay

You have the right to refuse to pay, but it is likely that the other drivers will file a lawsuit against you. If this happens, you will need to hire an attorney of your own. You and your attorney can submit a settlement offer and hope the other party accepts it. Otherwise, the case will go to court and your attorney will have to argue your case before a judge and jury. You will either win your case and owe nothing besides legal fees or lose your case and be forced to compensate the other driver on top of legal fees.