Who is at Fault in a Motor Vehicle Accident?

rear end car accident

Many motor vehicle accidents have a clear-cut “perpetrator” on whom to cast blame. Running a traffic light, failing to stop at a stop sign, or rear-ending a parked vehicle are cases where fault is likely easy to determine.

However, there are times when establishing fault is not as straightforward, and you could find yourself saddled with blame when it is not warranted. In such a case, it may be in your best interest to consult the auto accident lawyers at Findlay Personal Injury Lawyers.

Fault Determination

Insurance companies in Ontario use the Fault Determination Rules set forth in the Insurance Act when evaluating who’s liable for an auto accident. These regulations were designed to streamline insurance claims and standardize treatment of similar situations.

Forty types of accidents are detailed in the regulations. A range of scenarios associated with each type of accident is included, along with diagrams, to address the following situations:

  • Vehicles traveling in opposite directions
  • Vehicles traveling in the same direction and same lane
  • Vehicles traveling in the same direction in different lanes
  • Vehicles at an intersection
  • Vehicles in a parking lot
  • Driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol

When an accident occurs, each driver’s insurance company will investigate the accident and see which of the scenarios in the regulations are most applicable. In cases where the Fault Determination Rules scenarios do not apply, negligence law will establish fault.

It is important to note that the rules are set to apply no matter the circumstances surrounding the accident. For instance, road conditions, weather, or pedestrian involvement would not change the fault designation for any particular accident.

Assigning Fault by Percentage

In some cases, fault is determined to be shared. For example, two drivers involved in an accident might each be assigned 50 percent of the blame, or one driver could be 75 percent responsible and the other 25 percent responsible.

Based on who is determined to be at fault, one or both drivers may see increases in their insurance premiums. A fault percentage of 0-25 percent can prevent your insurance rates from being raised.

If you feel you are wrongfully assigned blame, you may appeal the ruling with the insurance adjuster. Our experienced motor vehicle accident lawyers can help you through this process and with finding out your options for moving forward.

Work-Related Car Accidents and Employer Liability

If you are in a car accident while you are performing a work-related duty, your employer may be held liable. Work-related motor vehicle accidents may be covered by workers’ compensation, depending on the accident details.

Call Findlay Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation

If you believe you have been blamed for an accident that was not your fault in the Hamilton, Ontario area, please contact Findlay Law Offices at 905-522-9799 for a free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers. We can help determine if you have a case and speak to the insurance company on your behalf.

Video: Who is at Fault in an Accident?

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