You’ve just had a fender bender and then find out your insurance company won’t go to bat for you to avoid the dreaded ‘at-fault’ tag for the accident. Aren’t they supposed to? Isn’t that what you’d expect from a risk partner?
Yes, they are.
In fact, it’s always in your insurance company’s interest to have the other driver considered at-fault. And having your financial interests and the insurance company’s financial interests both trying to find the other driver at-fault is the best alignment possible.
Here’s why your interests align:
The insurance company for the at-fault driver ends up paying most or all of the cost of the accident. That’s a big incentive. If you’re at-fault, they’ll pay your collision AND the repairs to the other driver’s car, even when the other driver goes through his own insurance. (This is a process known as subrogation, where the non-at-fault company gets paid after the fact by the at-fault driver’s company).
So why don’t they fight harder?
In short, legal reality. Massachusetts traffic law has been litigated and argued for about a hundred years. That’s a lot of case law. And even the most skilled lawyering can’t get you ‘not at-fault’ if the case law is against you (excepting documented extenuating circumstances).
Massachusetts traffic law has been summarized in the “Standard of Fault”. Distilled down to the very basics, the at-fault driver was usually in one of these situations:
- Not yielding to oncoming traffic
-Crossing traffic to turn left
-entering a main road from a side road
- Hitting someone in the rear
–not stopping in time
- While in reverse
It’s always good to get fresh information at the accident, to avoid ‘description drift’. See our tips on right after an accident to understand how to protect your interests. Or call us at 800-649-3252. Learn more about auto insurance here.