Cowlitz County

By: Capital Injury Law

The Basics of Determining Fault and Liability in Automobile Accidents and When to Call Capital Injury Law

Being in an automobile accident can be a scary experience. When it comes to determining fault and liability, there are several factors that come into play. Knowing the basics of how fault and liability are determined can help you make a more informed decision if you ever find yourself in this situation. In addition to the physical and emotional trauma, you may face financial difficulties due to medical expenses, lost wages, and other related costs. Understandably, it can be difficult to know what steps to take if you find yourself injured in an automobile accident.

Capital Injury Law Can Help You Navigate Determining Fault and Liability

Knowing what to do and when to contact a personal injury attorney, like the professional attorneys at Capital Injury Law, is an important part of the process. If you’ve been involved in an automobile accident, you may have questions about who is liable for the damages.

In particular, if you are a resident of Washington State, it’s important to understand the rules and regulations governing car accidents in this part of the country. Let’s take a look at what goes into determining fault and liability when it comes to automobile accidents and what you should do after an accident has occurred.  

What Should You Do After an Automobile Accident? 

If you’ve been involved in an automobile accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention as soon as possible. It’s also important that you document all details of the accident including photographs of any damage done to your vehicle or property, witness statements and contact information, police reports, and other relevant details. The more information you have about the incident, the better your chances of receiving fair compensation for your losses and help with determining fault and liability.

Determining Fault and Liability

Establishing Fault When Determining Fault and Liability

The first step in determining fault is to establish who was responsible for the accident. This is done by evaluating the surrounding facts, including the speed of each vehicle involved, the time of day, weather conditions, and any other relevant evidence such as skid marks or eyewitness accounts. Depending on the circumstances, one or both drivers may be found at least partly liable for the accident.

Once fault has been established, then it’s time to move on to determining liability. Liability is based on who was responsible for causing the accident—this is typically determined by comparing each driver’s actions against state laws and regulations related to driving safely and responsibly. If a driver violated a law or regulation that contributed to causing the accident, then they can be held liable for damages resulting from their negligence.

Determining Fault and Liability

Washington is a Fault-Based State when Determining Fault and Liability

Washington operates under what is known as a fault system when it comes to determining liability for an automobile accident. This means that whoever was at fault for causing the accident will be responsible for paying any resulting damages or injuries. The laws surrounding this type of liability are laid out in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Chapter 46.52.020, which outlines how fault and negligence are determined after an automobile collision. These rules apply regardless of whether or not both parties reside in Washington State. 

The Role of Insurance Coverage When Determining Fault and Liability

In order to cover any expenses related to an automobile accident, drivers must carry a minimum level of insurance coverage as required by law. For bodily injury and property damage, all vehicles registered in Washington must have at least $25,000/$50,000 coverage per person/per incident for bodily injury and $10,000 coverage for property damage (RCW 46.29). Drivers can also choose to purchase additional optional coverage such as uninsured motorist or medical payments coverage if they deem it necessary.  

In some cases, it may be difficult or impossible to determine which driver was at fault for an automobile collision. In these instances, each driver’s insurance provider will usually pay up to their policy limit and then go through a process known as subrogation—or legal action taken by one party against another.

In order to recoup any unused funds from the other driver’s policy limit should additional compensation be required above what their own policy limits allow them to pay out. This process can take time and requires legal experience. For this reason, many people choose to involve personal injury lawyers, like the ones at Capital Injury Law. We are experienced with subrogation cases after an automobile accident occurs where fault is difficult or impossible to ascertain with certainty.  

Car accidents can be traumatic events and figuring out who is liable can add another layer of complexity into the mix. Understanding how fault works in Washington State is essential so that you know what steps need to be taken if you ever find yourself involved in an automobile collision here. Make sure your insurance policies are up to date according to state requirements so that you are covered if something happens; understanding the laws governing liability will also help protect your rights should any dispute arise after an auto accident has occurred within Washington State boundaries or otherwise involving its residents.

Determining Fault and Liability

When To Call Capital Injury Law for Determining Fault and Liability

If you’re involved in an automobile accident and have questions about your rights or need guidance with establishing fault or liability, contact Capital Injury Law today. Our experienced team will help guide you through the process so that you get fair compensation for any losses associated with an automobile accident that wasn’t your fault.

We’ll assess your case thoroughly and make sure all relevant evidence is taken into consideration when determining fault and liability. Who is at fault and who should bear responsibility for any damages caused by their negligence. They can also advise you on whether filing a lawsuit is worth pursuing or if taking a settlement offer is more beneficial in this particular situation.

At Capital Injury Law, we will work with you every step of the way so that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries and financial losses due to the accident.

Being involved in an automobile accident is a stressful experience and determining fault and liability after an automobile accident can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you know where to turn for help. Capital Injury Law provides experienced legal professionals who can help guide you through every step so that you understand your rights when it comes to recovering damages due to another person’s negligence behind the wheel. Don’t hesitate to investigate determining fault and liability – call us at 360-209-3360 today!

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