On November 27, 2014, a 25 year old woman and her 16 month old child sustained multiple injuries while being involved in a horrific vehicle-motorcycle crash in Salt Lake City, Utah. According to the police investigation and neighboring eye witnesses, the motorcyclist was operating the bike very recklessly at a high rate of speed when he lost control and forcefully collided with the Pontiac Grand Am on Auburn Hill Boulevard. If you have ever found yourself in a similar situation, you know that, emotionally, those involved will recall the impact of this accident for years to come. The question is, financially, who will be held responsible for these injuries and extensive property damages?

For insurance purposes, what are the first steps to take immediately after an accident?

When an accident occurs, anxiety may be elevated and injuries may be critical. Nevertheless, there are vital steps that need to be taken at the scene of any accident. First of all, it is extremely crucial to ensure that all automobile drivers and passengers involved are safe and then notify the local police station. Next, you will need to politely exchange first and last names, insurance information, telephone numbers, street addresses and license plate numbers with all drivers involved and promptly inform your insurance company of the incident. Also, it is a great idea to obtain statements and contact information from all witnesses and take photos of any damage to your vehicle at the scene of the accident, no matter how minor or insignificant it may appear.

Financially, who will be held liable for damages and injuries?

At the scene of the accident, law enforcement officers will determine who will be held accountable for the incident and issue a ticket. Separately, once you have filed a claim, the automobile insurance provider will examine the substantial evidence, police report, witness testimonies and statements of all parties involved to help determine their own evaluation of fault, which does not always coincide with the police officer’s assessment. Whoever is deemed at fault by the insurance company will be held responsible for the repair of any damages. In most cases, drivers have automobile insurance that will initially cover the cost of these damages. However, some drivers are uninsured and every state issues its own rules and regulations about which drivers are considered to be uninsured. Luckily, the insurance evaluation and payment procedure doesn’t alter very much when these drivers become involved in accidents. If you are enrolled in collision insurance or coverage for uninsured drivers, your insurance carrier will be accountable to pay for the damage to your vehicle.