Can a car accident be considered your fault if there was no police report filed?

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Can a car accident be considered your fault if there was no police report filed?

In a really bad snowstorm my car ended up swerving across several lanes on the highway and another car hit me. Even though I slid across the lanes, the other car still had ample time to stop. The weather was also terrible which is both why I slid and why they didn’t stop. No police showed up to the scene and even refused to do so when called since the weather was so bad. They are now considering it my fault for the accident. I thought under MA law a car accident couldn’t be considered anyone’s fault without a police report. Is that true? Is it actually my fault?

Asked on April 7, 2009 under Accident Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

We don't know that level of detail under Massachussets law, but using plain ordinary common sense it is clear that accidents are usually someone's fault. Police rarely investigate every fender bender, and requiring a police report to assess fault

Here you are responsible for driving at a speed that was safe and appropriate for the conditions prevailing at the time of the accident. The fact that the car went out of control suggests you were not.

As to whether you are civilly liable, that's another issue. If the other driver had a last clear chance, and could have avoided the accident and did not, that may let you off the hook.


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