An auto accident can create a period of uncertainty in your life. You’re recovering from physical injuries. You have physical suffering, and you may have emotional damages like flashbacks. It might be hard to come to terms with not being able to do the things that you used to do before. You likely also have the task of proving who was at fault for your auto accident. It’s important to know who determines fault for your auto accident.
The jury makes the ultimate decision
If the parties don’t agree on who caused an auto accident, the parties can ask a jury to decide. The jury hears the case according to the rules of evidence, and they render their decision. It’s up to the jury to weigh the credibility of witnesses and the strength of the case. In most cases, the jury’s decision is final. The jury might also measure the amount of damages in the case. The courts summons potential jurors from a pool of local community members.
In some cases, the judge may decide
Sometimes, the parties might agree on the facts of the case. When the parties agree on all of the material facts of how the accident occurred, the judge might be the one who decides fault. If it’s only a matter of applying the law to the facts, the judge can do the job and resolve the case.
In some circumstances, the judge rules in favor of the plaintiff. In other circumstances, the judge can rule that the case is without merit and they can dismiss the case before it ever goes to trial. It’s uncommon for a judge to step in and determine a case. Usually, when the parties disagree, the case goes to the jury for their decision.
However, the other party or their insurance company may agree to pay your claim
You might be able to work with the other party in order to determine fault before a jury hears your case. When there are insurance companies involved, the insurance company will conduct an investigation in order to determine if they should agree to pay you based on the terms of the insurance policy. The insurance company might ask you for information in order to evaluate the case.
When you’re trying to prove fault for an auto accident, there are things that you can do in order to prove your case to the insurance company. You can write a demand letter. A demand letter is a formal document that states your belief of who was at fault and the reasons for your position. The demand letter goes on to say what you want the insurance company to do in terms of paying for your case.
A demand letter should be precise and professional. The insurance company can use your demand letter to conduct an investigation and determine if they should agree that the other side was at fault for the auto accident. You can also support your claim to determine fault by providing carefully chosen information to the insurance company that bolsters your demand with photos, witness statements and even medical documentation.
The police don’t determine fault
Remember that the police don’t determine fault for an auto accident. The police might come to the scene to give medical treatment, clear the scene and investigate what happened. They might prepare a report and even draw conclusions. However, it’s important to remember that the police officer does not have the final say over fault in an auto accident case.
You have a right to challenge the witnesses against you. That can mean questioning the police officer that investigated your case. While the police are trained in law enforcement and first aid, they’re not legal experts. They can make mistakes. The case might also be more complex than a police officer can process in a brief investigation. As you review the police report and evaluate your case, remember that it’s usually the jury that determines fault in an auto accident unless the parties are able to agree without needing to take the case to a jury trial.