How is Fault Decided in a Car Insurance Claim?
When making a car insurance claim following an accident, one of the central points discussed by both sides during negotiation is who is to blame for the incident.
Although in the immediate aftermath of the incident, it can seem clear cut as to the apportioning of blame, upon further analysis the decision may not be so conclusive.
What is an at-fault claim?
A car insurance claim, in the majority of instances, is classed as either at fault or non-fault. If you are submitting an at-fault claim to your insurer, the end result will see your policy cover the cost of the third party’s repair bills and other associated costs – consider replacement vehicle hire, vehicle recovery and personal injury to name just a few - as well as your own repair costs.
This can have a significant impact on your insurance premiums in future years due to your insurer needing to pay to settle the claim.
How can the claim affect your insurance?
Due to the accident being recorded on your file, in future years your premium could be higher due to you being deemed a higher risk to insurers. This could lead to paying more annually for the same cover. Once the claim is settled, you will need to pay your policy excess if you were the at-fault party as your insurer won’t be able to recover these costs from the other side.
You may also lose your no-claims discount.
How is liability decided?
When deciding liability, the file handler from each insurer involved will create a picture of the event based on the evidence at their disposal and then decide from there where liability should be attributed to.
How can you improve your chances of a successful outcome?
When looking to create the strongest possible case, evidence is crucial. By providing as much relevant evidence as quickly as possible, this will strengthen your claim and help to establish the actual version of events.
If there is some form of disputing of liability or how the events unfolded, you can help your claim by taking pictures of the damaged vehicles, the road layout, even the more general scene to show weather conditions at the time (was there low lying sun? Had it been raining heavily?).
Make a detailed note of what happened and submit dashcam footage if it is available.
Witness statements are also invaluable if anyone else saw the accident occur. Make sure you take down the contact details of any witnesses.
What happens if no one accepts liability?
On occasion, in the hope of reaching a settlement, insurers may accept elements of fault in disputed cases to ensure a resolution. However, if liability is strongly disputed, additional specialists may be required to help decipher who is liable for the accident. By clicking here, you can find out how Winns employs specialists to help claims in dispute.
Could the claim end up in court?
Although it is unlikely a claim will end up in court, it is a possibility and depends on the nature of the accident and the stance of each side involved. It is a costly extension to the process so insurers typically aim to settle before the claim gets to this stage.
Why call Winns first?
If you’ve been involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault, call Winns first, before your insurer, for a helping hand with making a claim for compensation.
We can manage all elements of your claim, from the legal processes and procedures, thanks to our dedicated team, to arranging medical treatment and getting an independently produced medical report through our sister company On Medical 24/7.
We will also collect your damaged vehicle, arrange for repairs to be carried out using genuine manufacturer parts, and will get a credit hire replacement vehicle sorted within four working hours of instruction (on standard vehicles) to get you back on the road as quickly as possible.
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