Getting into an accident is the worst experience ever, especially if you suffer serious injuries. You’ll not only incur huge medical bills but also suffer the loss of wages.
You deserve to get compensated to cover for the losses that occurred as a result of the accident. But that only happens if you can prove that the other party is at fault. This is a fact that insurance companies will strive to dispute and instead blame you for the accident.
So, you need to know how to determine fault in a car accident or how to prove you are not at fault in a car accident. This could involve more than the eye can see, especially if you’re not an expert. Sometimes it may not be easy to pinpoint what caused the accident and who’s to blame.
But you must find compensation after all, don’t you? Read this article to learn all the means and methods of proving fault in an accident!
So, without further ado, let’s dive in!
Learn How to Determine Fault in a Car Accident by Proving Negligence
One of the ways of proving fault in an accident is by showing there was negligence. Everyone on the road must exercise a duty of care for themselves and other people on the road. Failure to exercise this duty means you violated the law and traffic rules.
You must have enough proof that the other driver acted inappropriately on the road, putting themselves and other people in undue danger. Their irresponsibility hence resulted in direct or proximate cause of your car accident injury. Proving negligence still needs additional support to make the case stronger.
Understand Traffic Laws
While you might have some obvious traffic laws on your head, some need more in-depth research. Traffic laws differ by state, county, or municipality and you need to understand all of them. Check the Department of Motor Vehicles for more details about traffic rules.
You can also find some more guidelines on government and court websites. Some traffic laws may also be specific to your case.
For instance, some laws dictate how many feet away should drivers keep from the car in front. Other rules may state that a driver’s responsibility will be reduced if their negligence was partially to blame. This mostly happens when the brake lights of the vehicle in front were out.
Other essential traffic rules to understand are left-turn accidents. The party turning will be held liable in most cases. The one heading straight will not be at fault for the accident.
But sometimes, the party heading straight may take part of the blame if they were over speeding or ran a red light. Be careful when accessing each case and understand where your case falls. You should not end up with wrong conclusions as you try to prove fault.
Prove Fault With Obvious Traffic Law Violation
Some drivers clearly violate traffic laws making it easy for you to prove fault. Some obvious traffic law violations include speeding, running a stop sign, failure to yield, etc. The traffic laws also vary from state to state, and you must research to find out the kind of specific violations that apply to your situation.
While proving obvious violations may still seem difficult, looking up the exact motor vehicle statute and using verbiage may help. The insurer may find you more confident and knowledgeable hence taking your case more seriously.
Just make sure you talk to the claim adjuster as soon as possible, whether in small violations or more serious ones. Be careful not to file the vehicle’s wrong statute as this will make you appear silly. Any mistake while filing your claim gets you steps closer to losing your case.
Use the Police Report
If an accident caused injuries, it would attract the attention of the police. The presence of the officer at the scene will mean that there will be a police report. The police officers can access the circumstances that cause the accident and point out who is at fault.
They’ll come up with objective evidence and a full analysis of the accident. They can easily tell if the driver was speeding by measuring the skid-marks on the roadway. They can also indicate if any of the parties violated a traffic law.
If one of the drivers was under the influence or was in possession of drugs in the vehicle, it will appear in the report. The report will indicate who’s to take full blame for the accident. Or, it will indicate whether the other driver is partly to blame for the accident.
While filing your claim, you’re allowed to ask for a copy of the report from the police department that responded to the scene. If they didn’t respond immediately to the scene, they’d still investigate the cause of the accident. Therefore, the police report is one of the best ways to prove fault.
Remember, the police report is very crucial for your claim. The insurance company will not take up a claim with no police report. Do all it takes to ensure the police arrive at the scene, and you file a report.
Collect All the Evidence You Can Get
Evidence works well in proving fault. If the police don’t show up at the accident scene soon enough, you need to take action. Thanks to technology, now you have phones with cameras, and you can take pictures to use on your claim.
Take pictures of the position of the two cars before any of you move. Capture the scene, the weather, the wrecked vehicle, and the condition of the road. Take pictures of your injuries and that of the other passengers involved.
Find the witnesses of the accident scene and ask them about their side of the story. Third-party witnesses of the accident can provide very strong pieces of evidence to support your case. Record witness statements and take their contact information as you might need them later.
Document all the driving conditions such as speed limits, school zones, stop signs, etc. Check whether any of these may or may not be present during the accident and how they affect the case. For instance, if the car was turning but did not indicate, you must document that.
Simply proving that any of the conditions may have been present or were not is enough to establish a fault. So, never forget to have your own accident documentation as evidence even in situations when the other driver accepts fault.
Never Admit to Fault
Getting into an accident may be a traumatizing situation that you may not even think straight. But if you want to get the compensation you deserve, you have to get your act together and never admit to being at fault. Make sure you stick to all the facts that you remember.
It’s possible to feel responsible for the things that contributed to the accident. But you’re not sure about this, and anything else could have aggravated the situation. You should let the police do their work and come up with their own conclusion.
The insurance adjuster may also try to intimidate you into admitting to a fault in a car accident. Be very vigilant not to fall into their trap.
Never take responsibility for the accident as this may have serious consequences on your side.
Seek Legal Assistance
When situations get too complicated, you need a lawyer to interpret the law for you. You need legal advice when you feel like the accident may affect your defense. Also, if you feel like you’re not in a position to follow up on the case, you need an experienced attorney to do it for you.
Consider the fact that you’re up against experienced insurance company representatives. You won’t be able to stand up against them if things get out of hand. You need an attorney with all the legal knowledge and appropriate skills to handle such cases.
Unlike the insurance company, a lawyer has your best interests at heart. They’ll fight to ensure you win the case and get maximum compensation. Never risk flying solo in a complicated car accident case when you can easily get a representative.
All You Need Is to Be on the Know
You don’t have to wait until you’re involved in an accident before learning how to determine fault in a car accident. As long as you’re a road user, accept that accidents are inevitable, whether minor or major. All you need to understand is how to conduct yourself when you get into one.
Proving a fault is not going to be easy, but some situations present themselves on a silver platter. Understand all the circumstances that led to the accident as you’ll need all the evidence when making a claim. Keep your eyes open all the time so that you identify foul play before it happens.
You never know when you’ll find yourself in a legal situation. Therefore, it’s important to stay updated with all tips, guides, and advice on things that happen every day. This site will be of help for all the educative information you need on legal matters.