Who Caused it? How Fault is Determined After A Car Accident Part 1

How Fault is Determined After A Car AccidentFor over 34 years now, we at Bow Valley Insurance of Calgary have prided ourselves on providing excellent customer service while also saving our clients their hard earned money spent on insurance premiums. We work with 15 national insurers, all of whom are competing for your business.

Another way we help our clients to keep their dollars is by offering practical advice about insurance issues. The surest way to keep your insurance rates as low as possible is by limiting your exposure to risk. Always be aware of your surrounding and avoid being in an automobile accident. 

You Are An Insured Motorist, Right?

You should never operate a motor vehicle in public without carrying valid coverage. Not only is it against the law, it can be ruinously expensive to be an uninsured driver in Alberta.

The maximum payout for motor vehicle accidents in Alberta is $200,000, which only covers bodily injury and attorney fees. And uninsured driver is personally responsible for any property damages and civil fines additionally owed. Since most uninsured drivers do not have the funds readily available to compensate for the injured and the jurisdiction, they will become subject to Alberta’s Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Program (MVAC). They will be required to pay the government back in a regular and timely fashion or face the indefinite suspension of both their drivers licence and vehicle registration privileges, penalties which similar throughout the country.

How Is Fault Determined?

There are several types of car accidents, and some happen more than others.

Generally speaking, when any kind of non-trivial motor vehicle accident happens, the police should be called in. All drivers are required to report accidents resulting in $2,000 or more of vehicle damage. And if injury or property damage has occurred, definitely call the police as well.

Bringing the authorities to the scene of the accident preserves crucial evidence. First, there is a more exhaustive taking of personal information, and statements, as well as the documentation of possible witnesses to the accident than most people directly involved manage to get. Secondly, if the accident is serious enough in nature, a specially trained officer or unit will be called in to attempt to determine exactly what happened. 

Nevertheless, the police report, even when it concludes who was at fault, is not the last word. It is used as a point of reference in a mass of direct and circumstantial evidence, because sometimes investigators miss something or even get things wrong. The report is advisory.

When you are insured, you will have a claims adjuster who is your primary point of contact. He or she will have access to counsel that you will never meet unless there is a trial. When the claims adjusters representing all insured parties feel that they have a handle on what happened, they have to follow the province’s “fault determination rules” in an attempt to achieve clear and consistent results across different, but similar cases.

If no agreement can be reached, a trial is conducted and fault will ultimately either be attorney negotiated or determined by a jury.

Serving Alberta: Bow Valley Insurance of Calgary

If you are a careful driver, one who does your best to avoid demerits on your licence, you will keep your premiums low.

If you are shopping for car insurance or are looking for a better rate at renewal time, contact us for a free quote.