Call Today 803.359.3301
How is Fault Determined in a Car Accident?

How is Fault Determined in a Car Accident?

The risk of being in a car accident is so high, you’ll probably be in at least one crash during your lifetime. If you’ve been in a wreck before, you probably figure that after finding out if everyone is okay, you’ll want to know, “Whose fault was the accident?”

Unless there was an automotive defect that caused an accident, the crash was probably based on negligence and it was almost guaranteed preventable. Since accidents are just that, accidents, it is the responsibility of the insurance company to determine who made the mistake that led to the crash.

South Carolina is a Fault Insurance State

There are fault and no-fault insurance states. In a no-fault state, accident victims file first party insurance claims with their own auto insurance company even though they were not to blame for the accident. However, South Carolina is a fault-based state, which means that if another driver is liable for an accident, you would file a third party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance, not your own.

If you are injured in a crash in South Carolina, the insurance company will need to determine fault. But how do insurance companies determine legal liability? There are a few key pieces of information that they rely on beginning with the police report. Police reports are valuable sources of information because they are unbiased and provide an objective account of what happened.

Unbiased? Yes, the police don’t play favorites at accident scenes; they simply relay what they observed. In effect, the police report is often more reliable than the drivers’ personal accounts and insurance companies rely on them heavily.

Evidence Provided By You

If you aren’t rushed to an emergency room, it’s wise to gather evidence on your own. This means getting witness contact information and taking good pictures of the accident scene before any vehicles are moved to safety if possible. When you collect evidence, it only helps support your case.

We have one piece of advice: If you’re ever in a car accident, do NOT admit fault to the other drivers, the police, or an insurance company. State the facts, but don’t volunteer anything else. The cause of the accident could have been a distracted driver, someone who fell asleep at the wheel, or someone who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Even if you believe you’re to blame, let the insurance company conduct a thorough investigation and come to their own conclusion.

Next: What Are Damages in a Personal Injury Case?


Get Started Today

We're Available to Schedule Immediate, Same-Day Consultations
    • Please enter your name.
    • This isn't a valid phone number.
    • Please enter your email address.
      This isn't a valid email address.
    • Please make a selection.
    • Please enter a message.