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Car Accident Questions

Determining Fault

How do you determine who’s at fault in a car accident?

In most cases, police officers are responsible for completing a police report. However, they’ll first need to inspect the accident scene, speak with all parties involved in the accident, and talk with witnesses too. As a result of their investigation, the officer might issue traffic citations to any negligent drivers. The police report and traffic citations ultimately don’t prove who’s at fault, but they can be used as evidence that a driver was negligent.

Insurance companies, personal injury lawyers and ultimately, a court will determine who is at fault in a crash.

Who’s at fault in a left turn accident?

Left turn accidents can be caused by one, or several drivers involved in the crash. It depends on who has the right-of-way. In most cases, the driver turning left must yield to oncoming traffic. Failing to do so would put that driver at fault. However, if the driver who’s turning left has a green turn signal, they almost always have the right-of-way.

Who’s at fault in a right turn accident?

In almost all situations, right-turning drivers must yield to traffic around them. Even if you have a green light, there could be a bicyclist or pedestrians on your right-hand side attempting to cross the same intersection, and you must yield. In most New York intersections, drivers are allowed to turn on red. Again, they must yield to the traffic around them and only turn right when it’s safe to do so.

Can you determine fault based on car damage?

It depends! In some cases, car damage can be a strong indicator of who’s at-fault. For example, in rear-end accidents, one car will have damage to its rear bumper and another vehicle will have damage in front. In these cases, the driver in back is usually at fault.


We get it: car accidents are complicated! Don’t worry, we can help answer any questions you have. Check out these other frequently asked questions about car accident injuries and insurance:

Have a question we haven’t answered here? Give us a call! We’d be happy to help.

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