How Do Insurance Companies Determine Fault?
After a motor-vehicle accident, an insurance company will determine fault by reviewing evidence that shows that one or more individuals was negligent, and that said negligence caused the accident. In order to determine fault, insurance companies must know what happened during the accident. After an accident is reported, insurance companies begin their investigation by taking statements from drivers, passengers, and witnesses, as well as looking at photographs of the scene. Typically, accident details are collected through:
- Driver accounts to either an insurance adjuster or a police officer;
- Independent witnesses;
- On site police reports; and
- Dashboard or intersection camera video, if available.
Fault determination is imperative as it can impact both your claim and your future insurance rates. In order to determine who is at-fault in an accident in Ontario, insurance companies use the Fault Determination Rules. The Ontario Fault Determination Rules are made by a regulation under the Ontario Insurance Act to judge driver responsibility for car accidents, and they contain common motor vehicle accident scenarios, diagrams, and percentage assignments of fault. When an accident is reported to an insurance company, it will review the rules and use them as a tool to determine the degree of fault to be assigned to their insured. If the insurance company cannot select a diagram which adequately represents the accident, then they will apply the ordinary rules of negligence.
If you have been injured in a motor-vehicle accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, contact our team of experienced personal injury lawyers for help.