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Whose Fault is It? And Does That Matter?

At some point in our lives, most of us are involved in a car accident. Usually the incident is just a simple fender-bender, but occasionally, as we all know, more serious accidents occur. Whether the wreck was a small matter or a major, life-changing event, we all ask the same questions afterward: Who was at fault? And does that matter?

California is a fault-based insurance state. If you’re involved in a car accident, repairs to your vehicle, medical expenses, and these are the cases that sometimes end up in court.

The police report, compiled after the accident, often determines fault. So, if you’re involved in a traffic incident, the first thing you should do is call the police. An officer will be dispatched to the scene to gather information. At this time you should request an ambulance if you believe you or the other party is injured.

If you’re able, you can take pictures or video of the accident scene. You can also ask witnesses for their names and take notes of contributing factors such as traffic patterns or weather.

You might face a waiting period, during which the investigation will uncover which driver was at fault. This can be a nerve-wracking process, but keep in mind that car insurance rates don’t always rise after an accident. If you disagree with the decision, you also have the right to speak with a lawyer and gain another perspective on your case.

If you’re concerned about how an accident could affect your car insurance rates, remember to obey the speed limit, don’t text and remember to call us if you have questions about your car insurance policy.