Who is At Fault After a Car Accident?
Suppose you’ve been in a car accident. In that case, your first concern is probably about your injuries, but after that, you may also be concerned about your car and whose responsibility it will be to pay for damages, as well as any other medical expenses resulting from the accident, essentially, who is at fault after the car accident.
Before we begin, it’s essential to know: never admit fault after a car accident. It’s the insurance company’s role to investigate the accident, and any admission of fault or guilt could affect your claim down the line.
What does ‘no-fault’ mean?
Within Ontario auto insurance, we have the ‘no-fault’ system, meaning that regardless of who is at fault in a car accident, each person’s insurance company will handle their own respective customer’s claim, not the other person’s.
Under the no-fault system, you can still be at fault if you are found to be responsible for the accident. No-fault essentially means how insurance companies now handle claims.
The benefits of this system are that since you are only dealing with your insurance company during a claim, it simplifies the claims administration process and saves time, which results in savings on premiums for customers.
How do insurance companies determine who is at fault in an accident?
The final decision comes down to the insurance company determining who is at fault. Generally, an at-fault accident is due to driving negligence, effectively, a driver failing to do something that leads to an accident.
Insurance companies will assign a percentage of fault to each driver based on their level of responsibility for the accident. This can be between 0 – 100% at-fault and is determined using The Fault Determination Rules, compensating insured parties according to the amount they are not at-fault.
How does an at-fault accident affect my insurance premium?
If you’ve been at fault in an accident, your insurance premium will likely increase at renewal unless you have purchased coverage to protect your driving record. If you haven’t been at fault, this won’t affect your premium.
Did you know that we have our own claims specialists?
A car accident can be a stressful experience, and deciphering insurance jargon is what we do best for our clients.