How Do New York Insurance Companies Determine Who Is At Fault?

After a car accident, we typically turn to insurance companies to help cover our expenses. Before paying for anything, insurance companies will investigate your claims and determine who is at fault for the accident.

Your insurance claim will be assigned to an insurance adjuster responsible for assessing evidence and information about the accident. Adjusters must determine how an accident happened and which party is at fault. Common pieces of evidence like photos, witness statements, and information from police reports may be utilized. An attorney can help you convince the insurance company to pay your compensation.

If you need help filing an insurance claim, our New York car accident attorneys are here to help. Our team can help you communicate with the insurance company and help gather evidence that proves the other driver is at fault. We can also help you file a lawsuit to cover your damages. Call The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083 for a free case review.

How Insurance Companies Determine Fault in New York

New York is a no-fault state, and injured drivers can file claims with their own insurance without the need to prove fault. The no-fault rule only applies to medical costs for injuries. The cost to repair or replace your vehicle is usually dealt with in a third-party claim against the other driver’s insurance. The insurance company must determine who is at fault to get these damages covered.

When looking into a car accident, insurance companies may use any evidence they believe helps them determine who is at fault. Evidence used by insurance companies often includes records of the crash scene, like photos or videos. They may also reach out to eyewitnesses and review police reports about the crash.

The insurance company will be looking at you for signs of fault in addition to the other driver. They might reach out to you for statements or interviews, and every word you say will be heavily scrutinized. Our New York car accident attorneys can help you prepare for these interactions and protect yourself. Even if you have no-fault insurance, your insurance premiums may increase if you are found to be at fault.

Insurance companies do not always determine fault in ways we feel are fair. If your insurance claims are denied, you may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit to get your compensation. Our team of New York personal injury attorneys can help you prepare your case and file your claims in court.

Insurance Companies and No-Fault Insurance Laws in New York

Minimum insurance requirements in New York include no-fault personal injury protection (PIP), but this only covers medical costs for injured drivers, passengers, or pedestrians. Other claims may require proof of fault, and our New York Car accident attorneys can help you.

Liability protection is meant to insure you against vehicle damage, but this insurance requires proof that the other driver is at fault for the crash. You can file a third-party claim with the other driver’s insurance for damage to your vehicle.

Since claims for vehicle damage are third-party claims, you would file these claims with the other driver’s liability insurance. The insurance company must then determine fault. How fault is determined and the evidence used by the insurance company to make such a determination will vary from case to case.

What Evidence Do Insurance Companies in New York Use to Determine Fault?

Once you file your claim, an insurance adjuster will likely be assigned to your case. The insurance adjuster will examine evidence from the crash, including photos, videos, and the damaged vehicles themselves. Our New York car accident attorneys can assist you in communicating with the adjuster.

Adjusters may reach out to you or the other driver to discuss the accident and inquire about fault. You must be extremely careful about talking to insurance adjusters because they can use your statements as evidence, too. Our Queens car accident lawyers can help you provide necessary evidence while working against suspicions or allegations that you are the one at fault.

Insurance adjusters will also look at police reports about the accident. In some cases, law enforcement officials make their own determinations of fault and include them in their report, which the insurance company will use to make its own decisions regarding fault.

Insurance adjusters will also check for traffic violations and citations related to the accident. For example, if the other driver ran a red light before they T-boned you in an intersection, that red light ticket may be used to determine fault if the insurance adjuster believes it contributed to the crash.

What Do Insurance Companies in New York Do If Fault is Shared?

If fault is shared between multiple drivers, the insurance company might assign a certain percentage of fault to each driver. State rules will determine how insurance companies pay compensation.

New York follows a pure contributory negligence rule under CVP Law § 1411. Under this rule, a person’s damages are reduced in proportion to their share of the blame. So, if you are determined to be 25% at-fault, your damages would be reduced by 25%.

New York’s pure contributory negligence rule also holds that people are not barred from recovery for being predominantly responsible for an accident. E.g., even if you are 95% at-fault, you can still recover 5% of your damages. Our Long Island car accident lawyers can help you prove that the other driver in your accident is at fault and maximize your potential insurance settlement.

Call Our New York Car Accident Attorneys for Help

Our Bronx car accident attorneys can help you file an insurance claim and prove the other driver is at fault if you were involved in a car crash. Call The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083 for a free case review.