Answer: The person who legally caused the accident (the “tortfeasor”) is liable for all damages proximately caused by that person’s negligence in causing the accident. However, that is a simple answer to an often complicated question. In reality, there can be several payors for damages and several types of damages which could have more than one payor. For example, the damage to your car is often paid initially by your auto insurance company, with you paying your collision deductible (if you have full coverage on your auto policy). After that, the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier will often reimburse your insurance carrier for the amount it paid and you for your deductible. (It’s paid to your carrier, so remember to ask for it three or four months after your accident.)
My next two blog entries will discuss different damages often experienced in the typical auto accident and who pays for those damages.