How to Determine Who Is Liable for an Accident When the Vehicle Was Faulty

How to Determine Who Is Liable for an Accident When the Vehicle Was Faulty

When a car accident takes place, there are many questions that need to be answered so that victims can gain the compensation they need and deserve. However, in situations where it is determined one of the vehicles involved was faulty mechanically or otherwise, the situation becomes even more complex. If you were involved in such an accident and are now trying to get the case resolved to your satisfaction, here are some steps often taken in such matters.

The Police Report

When a vehicle's condition prior to the accident has been called into question, the police report can play a major role in how the investigation is conducted and completed. While police likely did not determine the specifics of the vehicle's mechanical issues, their investigation may have given clues as to what may have transpired. 

Through speaking with eyewitnesses, taking measurements at the crash scene, and looking at skid marks and other damage, this evidence can help to prove if a vehicle was indeed faulty and thus caused the accident. Any parties involved in the accident should give full, independent reports to the police to help them gather what happened and how the vehicles may have collided.

Insurance Adjusters

Along with what police find in their investigation, insurance adjusters also conduct their own investigation into the crash. Since they are looking for anything that may allow them to not pay a claim, you should always be very wary of their findings. 

Along with examining vehicle damage, adjusters will also look over medical records and the specifics of the insurance policy, all of which will have a significant impact on how your case plays out. Make adjusters aware of any issues you noticed on the vehicle or any potential recalls for the make and model of the vehicle. If your car malfunctioned and caused the accident, the adjusters will want your vehicle inspected thoroughly for any noticable issues.

Always Hire an Attorney

After you have had a car accident, always hire an auto accident attorney to handle your case. This will be crucial should the insurance company try to blame you and your vehicle for the accident, since this may keep you from gaining much-needed compensation. By having an attorney who understands the complexities of auto accident cases, they can examine the evidence, bring in expert witnesses to look over the details of the accident and testify on your behalf, and help you file a lawsuit against the other driver if necessary. 

Determining who was liable for the accident will be dependent on if a vehicle was found to be faulty or malfunctioning, why it was doing so, and if the driver was aware of these issues before operating the vehicle. An attorney can help you to sort all of this out.

Your State's Laws

Since insurance laws vary by state, always work with your attorney to understand your state's insurance laws and the details of your insurance policy. Due to most states being fault states, this means the insurance company will pay based on who is determined to be at fault for the accident. 

By knowing the details beforehand, you and your attorney can use information from police reports and other evidence to pressure the insurance company into negotiating an out-of-court settlement. Keep in mind that you may need additional investigators to provide information on why the accident occurred and who is truly at fault for it happening, whether it be you, the other driver, the car manufacturer, or even a past mechanic.


Rather than let an insurance company deny you compensation or try to pin the blame on you following your accident, use your attorney's expertise and the evidence from the accident to prove the other driver and their vehicle were at fault.

Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. You can connect with Anica on Twitter @AnicaOaks.
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