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Who Is At Fault If Someone Pulls Out In Front Of You?

December 19, 2022 Car Crash Injury Blog

The fault for a car accident is not always clear, but it may seem so when a driver pulls out in front of you, causing you to crash into them. However, although you might feel that the driver is clearly to blame for failing to yield the right of way, these situations often turn out to be more complex. 

How Fault is Decided When Someone Pulls Out In Front of You

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When an insurance company is deciding fault for a car accident, they will look at which driver’s negligent action was the cause of the collision. Oftentimes, more than one driver shares responsibility. A claims adjuster will review the facts and evidence available, including the police report, any photos or videos, each driver’s statements, and witness statements, if available. Factors the adjuster will typically consider include: 

  • The location of the damage on the vehicles.
  • The extent of damage to each vehicle.
  • How fast each driver was traveling.
  • Whether the driver who pulled in front of you failed to adhere to a stop sign or red light.
  • Whether either party could have seen the other coming.
  • Whether both drivers’ cars were functioning correctly at the time of the accident (e.g., faulty brakes).
  • What witnesses say. 

The police report can be incredibly helpful for proving fault, especially if the other driver tells a different story than yours. The officer will provide details, such as the final positions of each car, location, and damage extent, whether airbags are deployed, skid marks from attempts to brake, interviews with the drivers and witnesses, and more. They will also include how they believe the accident occurred and who was at fault. 

How Comparative Fault Works

Some accidents caused by a driver pulling out in front of another can happen because both drivers were negligent. For example, if the driver with the right of way was speeding and the driver who pulled out in front of them was distracted. In these cases, both drivers can share legal liability for the collision under California’s pure comparative negligence law. Under this law, compensation is reduced according to a driver’s percentage of fault. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 and found 20 percent to blame, you will receive 80 percent of your award or $80,000. If you were 80 percent to blame, you would receive 20 percent of your award or $20,000, and so on. 

Why It Is Critical to Work With an Attorney

When another driver causes you to crash because they pulled out in front of you, it is critical to work with a San Diego car accident lawyer. They will protect your rights if your insurance claim is denied and help you avoid a situation where you accept unfairly low compensation. In addition, they have the resources to investigate and gather evidence to support your claim. As a result, your chances of recovering fair compensation will significantly increase.