What Happens if I’m at Fault in a Car Accident?


Any time you’re in a car accident, it can be a stressful experience. When you are at fault, even if only partially, you may worry about what may happen next. As you would hope another person to do if they were at fault, you must accept responsibility for your part in any mistakes. A police complaint should be filed, which you and the other driver(s) help them complete. Motorists must share personal details such as names, phone numbers, insurance policies, and vehicle registration numbers. You should keep proof, such as photos or written records, of your injuries.

Do not delay in informing your insurance carrier of the incident. You may lose coverage if you do not comply with this requirement. Injuries sustained in automobile collisions result in tens of thousands of annual ER visits, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported. Someone who has caused or contributed to an accident may worry about their own and others’ futures and safety. If you are at fault in an auto accident, you need to know what steps to take next; remember that everyone involved can help things go faster if they cooperate.

No-Fault and Fault States

Accident victims in a “fault” state can seek compensation from the party that caused the incident. The other driver would file a claim with your insurance company, and either you or your insurer would be responsible for covering the costs associated with the accident. However, in states where there is no fault determination, the involved drivers’ insurance policies typically pay for any damages.

Personal injury cases seek compensation for financial losses sustained because of the negligence of another party. Potentially applicable losses include:

  • Bills incurred for medical care and related expenses
  • Prescription drugs
  • Damage to the vehicle
  • Money wasted
  • “Loss of enjoyment of life” damages

Unless the costs surpass the limits of your car insurance coverage, you probably won’t have to pay anything out of pocket. For example, if the injured motorist sues you for more money than your insurance covers, you may have to pay the rest of the legal fees yourself. It is possible in the most catastrophic of car accidents, those that cause significant bodily harm or fatalities. Hiring a lawyer who specializes in car accidents is your best bet here. A settlement with the injured driver is usually reached out of court with the help of insurance.

If Your Car Gets Damaged, What Happens Then?

If you are found to be at fault in a car accident, the other driver’s damages will be covered by your insurance coverage. Yet, you may be concerned about your losses. Your collision coverage should cover damage to your vehicle if you have it. A deductible, the amount you’re responsible for paying out of pocket before insurance kicks in, will still apply.

What Happens if I am Partially at Fault?

You will not be able to collect as much money if you are found to be partially at blame. A vehicle accident attorney can help you get compensation for your damages and defend your legal rights. Hiring a lawyer is the best way to ensure that you are not being overcharged.

The Amount You Pay for Car Insurance

There may be an increase in your auto insurance premium the next time you renew if you cause an accident while driving. Ask your insurance provider if you have concerns about a possible increase in your auto insurance premiums. It’s essential to remember that there is help available if you’re ever in a situation where you’re at fault for an auto accident.

Having Caused a Car Accident, What Should I Do Next?

An automobile collision is a serious business; even if you were at fault, you still have legal options.

Hold Up, Be Secure, and Wait

Ensure you are safely out of the way of oncoming traffic by stopping. Check your vehicle and all other vehicles involved to report significant injuries or deaths.

Report the Auto Accident

It’s essential to report the incident to authorities. Wait for law enforcement to arrive before leaving the scene. It’s possible to face hit-and-run charges if you do.

Suggested Action: Give the other motorist your contact information, insurance details, and full name(s). Consider noting the car’s make and model and the license plate number.

Make Notes of That!

Document everything from the positions of the vehicles to any injuries and damage to your vehicle with photographs taken at the scene of the collision. No one will be able to back out of their story with photographic evidence.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Give your insurance company a ring and let them know about the incident. You should notify your insurance company as soon as possible after an accident. Not doing so may result in being uninsured.

Is Legal Representation Required?

It is your choice whether to retain legal counsel for your case. A lawyer must deal with issues that can quickly become complex. Even if you were partially to blame for the accident, car accident lawyers could help you recover some of the costs associated with the incident, such as a Tampa car accident attorney can help you get compensation for your damages and defend your legal rights. You may have difficulty getting any compensation for your damages without an attorney’s help, especially if the other driver’s insurance company finds out you were partially to blame for the accident.