If you are involved in a two-car accident, the first thing you will do once you get your bearings together is try and figure out what happened and who is to blame. Why would you be concerned about fault at a time like this? Because for insurance purposes, fault can mean a great deal. Whoever is at fault could see their car insurance rates go up. Whoever is at fault could even face legal repercussions.
Unfortunately, you can't always face the scene of an accident when you were involved and clearly see who was at fault, and in some cases, not just one person has all the blame. It is completely possible for two people to share part of the blame in an auto accident. Here are a few things you need to know if you are ever involved in this kind of situation.
Fault can be divided equally, but this is pretty rare.
Most of the time, one driver or the other did something clearly wrong that caused the incident. For example, if one driver runs a stop sign or a red light and hits the other, the person disregarding the signs would be at fault. It is pretty rare for both drivers to share some fault in an accident, but it does happen. A few examples of two drivers both at fault would be if:
- One driver was speeding and the other driver disregarded a stop sign.
- One driver was passing in a no-pass zone and the other driver tried to illegally pass as well.
- One driver failed to yield to oncoming traffic and the other driver took a left turn where they shouldn't have.
In these kinds of situations, which are unique, the insurance company will look at the parts each driver played in the incident, and they may determine both drivers are equally at fault.
Fault is something that may sometimes not be able to be determined.
In some situations, it will be impossible to say who was at fault. A few things can cause this to happen. If the evidence fails to show which driver caused the problem, if there is a lack of witnesses, or if neither you or the other driver recall what happened, the fault may not be obvious even with an investigation. If it's not possible to pin the fault on either driver, both drivers may still have to share responsibility of the accident.