Insurance: When a driver admits liability

Insurance: When a driver admits liability

Q: I was in a car accident and the other driver admitted that it was his fault. But his insurance company won't pay 100 percent. Why not?

A: Determining who is at fault for an accident depends on the facts as discovered during the investigation, not on just one driver's opinion.

Even though one driver might be cited by police or admit fault, the issue of liability can only be determined after all the accident facts, weather, visibility, and all other driver actions and factors at the scene are taken into account.

It may sound hard to believe, but even if someone runs a stop sign and gets a ticket, the other driver could be found partially at fault for contributing to the accident by speeding, for example.

Note: This is one of a series of common -- or in some cases, particularly unusual -- questions received by our consumer advocacy staff, who answer questions from consumers.

Got a question or insurance problem of your own? If you live in Washington, feel free to give us a call, toll-free at 1-800-562-6900. We'll do our best to help. (And if you live in another state or territory, here's a handy map that lists the contact info for your local insurance regulatory office.)

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