1. When am I at-fault for car accident?

The technical rule that determines if you are at fault is if your behavior is over 50% of what caused the accident.  

2. What are the most common at-fault car accident types?

  • Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of accidents. If a car hits you from behind, it’ll almost never be your fault, even if you were stopped. A basic driving rule is that you are supposed to leave enough room in front of your car have space to stop if the car stops suddenly. If the driver behind you couldn’t stop, he or she probably wasn’t driving safely, or didn’t leave the allotted amount of space.
  • Left turn accidents are almost always the fault of the driver taking the left. Cars coming straight into an intersection will have the right of way in most cases, making the car turning left responsible for the accident. However, if the car going straight through the intersection is speeding or runs a red light, this may shift some or all of the liability away from the car turning left.
  • Violating a traffic law- If you were found to be violating any traffic laws then you will most likely be found at fault. Running a red light or turning when there is a “No Turn on Red” sign are common ways to violate traffic laws and cause an accident.

3. How will my Rhode Island car insurance provider react to a car accident?

Car insurance in the majority of states is fault-based. The at-fault driver’s insurance will usually pay for repairs, medical expenses, and other losses like pain and suffering and lost wages, through that driver’s liability coverage.

4. How is it decided if I am considered at-fault?

A hearing board officer will review the case and the facts and will be the one who ultimately decides if you are at fault. They will listen to your argument as well as the other driver’s and make an unbiased decision.

5.  What happens if I’m considered at-fault in a car accident?

If the insurance company considers you at fault, you’ll receive a notice stating that you’ve been presumed to be at-fault for the accident, and if you are declared officially at-fault, your insurance will be responsible for paying for the repairs and medical expenses of the other driver, in the accident. The standard fees from your insurance will apply, and your deductible will rise accordingly.

6. Can I appeal a hearing officer’s decision?

Absolutely! You can appeal the Hearing Board officer’s decision by filing an appeal to your county’s Superior Court. You must file this appeal within 30 days of your receipt of the decision in order for it to be considered.

7. Will my premium still increase if I appeal the at-fault determination?

Even if you appeal the at-fault determination, yes, it’s possible that your insurance company will still increase your premium. However, if it’s determined that you are not at fault, then your insurance company has to refund any premiums that were associated with the accident.

For over 20 years, Attorney Matthew J. Brier has been serving the Providence, Pawtucket, Lincoln, Cumberland, Central Fall and North Providence areas. Attorney Brier is Providence and Bristol County’s best personal injury attorney.

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