Car accidents are stressful for every motorist involved, especially if you’re the driver deemed at fault. Both Maryland and Virginia follow at-fault auto insurance laws. Because of these laws, you may fear your policy will pay for all damages incurred by other parties. While this may be the case, it’s crucial to understand the factors that go into assigning fault in collisions.

How fault is determined

In some accidents, one motorist is clearly at fault. You may have been involved in a crash where you broke traffic laws or received a traffic citation. In these cases, you will likely shoulder complete responsibility. And you will likely receive blame if witnesses corroborate that you caused the accident.

Common reasons you could face fault for a collision are:

  • You were driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated
  • You were making a left-hand turn
  • You were speeding
  • You were tailgating or rear-ended another motorist
  • You were texting and driving
  • You ran a stop sign or a red light

Yet, fault is not always clear. The actions of other motorists involved could decrease your responsibility. If another driver’s conduct contributed to the accident, they could share fault with you.

How to protect yourself

Whether your crash involved one other motorist or many other motorists, it is crucial you gather as much evidence at the scene as possible. Doing so will help law enforcement officials and insurers reconstruct the accident and assign fault based on facts. You can also protect yourself by not apologizing after a collision. Admitting guilt in any way could put you completely at fault.

After you’re involved in an auto accident, you will want to make sure that any fault assigned to you makes sense given the events. Whether it does or does not, an attorney can help you navigate the aftermath.