The insurance company focuses on determining the identity of the at-fault party, so that it can know who must be held responsible for covering the accident-linked damages.
The most basic clue
Usually the at-fault party is someone that has been negligent.
A negligent individual displays 2 distinctive traits.
—That same person is careless
—That same person is neglectful
How might a person’s behavior illustrate carelessness?
The failure to perform an expected action could be viewed as carelessness. A motorist that has failed to maintain a safe distance from the leading vehicle has been careless/negligent.
A passenger in a car has displayed negligence if he/she has failed to fasten the seat belt. By the same token, anyone that has performed an unexpected action would deserve mention on a list of careless/negligent individuals. A driver of a vehicle has displayed negligence, if he/she has driven through a stop sign.
What type of action could show that someone has been neglectful?
If the owner of a car had not bothered to fix a broken taillight, then that same owner could be viewed as neglectful.
If the owner of a store had failed to arrange for placement of a temporary barrier around a wet spot, then that same storeowner could be labeled neglectful. Any new car buyers that have ignored a recall letter were also neglectful.
What if both parties had been negligent? Who would be at-fault for the associated accident?
The insurance company would claim that each party must shoulder a portion of shared blame.
In a state that followed the principle of comparative fault, the size of the award for each party would be reduced in proportion to the size of his/her share of the blame.
In a state that followed the principle of contributory fault, neither party would have the right to seek a single cent in compensation.
What if more than one person was responsible for a given accident? How could the victim seek compensation for any injuries?
The victim should notify each party about any tentative plans for initiating a lawsuit.
Eventually, the same victim should pursue a lawsuit against one of the notified parties.
If the victim were to win that same lawsuit, then the defendant could seek help with paying the required compensation.
The defendant would have a legal right to demand financial help from the other parties, those that had received one of the victim’s notices.
Each of those same parties could appeal to their respective insurance company for help. The defendant’s insurance company would try to obtain reimbursement for at least some of the money that was paid to the victim. It would do that by suing each of the other parties.