Sorting out fault in a two-vehicle accident can be controversial, especially if the drivers disagree about the details. Sorting out fault in an accident with many vehicles can be even more difficult. More than one driver could have made a mistake, and things like weather or bad road conditions can also contribute. Add insurance companies that want to avoid paying and it can be a mess.

There are a few rules you can use to determine fault. For example, if someone broke a traffic law, that person is likely to be at least partly at fault. That might also be true if someone was driving too fast for the conditions, even if they were under the speed limit. In a chain-reaction crash with multiple rear-end accidents, the driver of the car at the back of the chain is likely to be assigned fault for the crash. And if there was a non-driver factor in play, such as a defective tire that exploded or a malfunctioning traffic light, that could be at least part of the reason.

Any law enforcement officer who came to the crash will apply rules like this, as well as their own judgment, when they file a crash report. That report will likely determine fault for the crash, and it will influence the insurance companies for the drivers when they decide who was at fault. Those decisions by insurance companies are important, but they’re also self-interested, because they often determine whether the company will pay a claim. If an insurance company’s decision doesn’t seem to fit the facts, call an experienced Texas auto accident lawyer for help.

If you go to court, the jury in your case will ultimately decide who was at fault. This is important, because in Texas, who was at fault determines how much money you can claim—and sometimes, whether you can claim any money at all. To have the best possible chance of recovering fair compensation, you should get the help of an experienced Texas car wreck lawyer.