Skip to main content
Find a Lawyer
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Car Accidents

Car accidents can be terrifying experiences. They often involve injuries and damage to motor vehicles. The legal system can help you determine who's at fault for a traffic accident and who needs to pay the associated bills.

This article discusses how a car accident case works, including the role of car insurance. It also addresses how to determine who's at fault for an accident.

How a Car Accident Case Works

Car accident law is a combination of traffic and personal injury law. Suppose you're injured in an auto accident. In that case, you can hire a car accident lawyer to negotiate with the other drivers to determine who should pay for the damage. If necessary, the attorney will file a lawsuit.

The court will piece together what happened using various types of evidence. This can include:

  • Police reports
  • Photos
  • Testimony from witnesses at the scene of the accident

The court will then apply local traffic laws and legal concepts to determine who caused the accident. The at-fault driver usually has to compensate the other party for:

  • Medical bills and other medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering

This can be a complex calculation. Sometimes, both drivers are at fault. Each state has slightly different rules for situations where more than one person is responsible for an accident. Some states require one party to pay all the bills. Others allow the two parties to split the bills according to how much each party is to blame.

The Role of Auto Insurance

Fortunately, most people don't pay out of pocket for all the damages stemming from a collision. Automobile insurance policies often cover repairs for at least some of the damages or replacement costs for all or some of the vehicles involved.

Car insurance may also cover some medical expenses as well. Insurance companies may also pay for a lawyer if necessary. But you don't usually get to choose your own attorney. State laws vary widely on the extent and types of insurance required to drive a vehicle.

Determining Who's at Fault

The laws on who's at fault for motor vehicle crashes vary depending on the types of vehicles involved. Most states give more protection to pedestrians and bicyclists since they're more vulnerable to severe injuries from a collision. Similarly, motorcyclists may sustain more serious injuries than motorists in an accident. But motorcyclists must follow slightly different traffic rules since they can be faster and more agile than automobiles.

Truck drivers are usually professionally trained and certified. They must drive more carefully than most other drivers. Determining who pays for the damage after a truck collision is slightly more complicated than other kinds of accidents. This is because trucks are often commercially owned. That means liability may rest not only on the driver but also on the truck's owner.

More Car Accident Articles

Click on any of the links below to find out more about car accident cases.

Have Questions? Contact a Car Accident Attorney

Are you a car accident victim? If so, you may have additional questions. A personal injury attorney can guide you through your personal injury case if, for example, you were rear-ended at an intersection and sustained whiplash.

Reach out to a local attorney for help with your car accident claim. An auto accident attorney can help you understand your insurance coverage and offer legal advice. It's important to know your legal rights after a car accident, especially if you think you were a negligent driver.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:
Was this helpful?

Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • A lawyer can help seek fair compensation on your behalf
  • Car accident claims are complex and insurance carriers have lawyers on their side

Get tailored legal advice and ask a lawyer questions about your accident. Many attorneys offer free consultations.


 If you need an attorney, find one right now.

Copied to clipboard

Find a Lawyer

More Options