Establishing Fault in a Car Accident Injury Case

Establishing Fault in a Car Accident Injury Case

Professionals like car accident attorneys and insurance adjusters often go to great lengths to establish fault in car accidents. For starters, most dig for and rely on indispensable tools like applicable shreds of evidence and essential elements.

Would you like to know how experts establish fault in detail? This piece will introduce all the essentials, including the evidence and elements they use.

Read on.

Which Parties are Often at Fault in Car Accidents?

As you may already know, most motor vehicle accidents stem from driver error and negligence. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), the former is responsible for 94% of all crashes that occur in the US.

Several driver-related issues cause most of the accidents reported. These include speed violations, distracted driving, failure to yield, and impaired driving. But problems like exhaustion, fatigue, drowsiness, and sleep deprivation also cause more than a few crashes.

That being said, numerous issues unrelated to human error also contribute to car accidents in this state. The most common include road hazards like obstructed signs, road debris, poor lighting, potholes, and lack of warning signs. Adverse weather conditions and vehicle defects also have their fair share of claims.

What Do Relevant Authorities Use to Determine Fault in a Car Accident?

Evidently, many culprits are responsible for car crashes. So, how do different entities, including insurance companies and jury members, determine who, or what, is responsible for a specific accident?

Police Reports

Police reports are official statements from officers. They often extrapolate on various observations, including the extent of skid marks, weather conditions, the position of the automobiles involved, crash venue, etc.

Accident Reconstruction and Analysis

Accident reconstruction is a technique that experts use to investigate, analyze, and summarize how events unfolded during a car crash. Generally, this process works in reverse and involves the study and documentation of pieces of evidence present at the scene.

Thorough accident reconstruction and analysis can help the parties involved isolate the exact cause of collision from various possible scenarios.

Witness Statements

After an accident, there are several things you should do. First, seek medical assistance immediately. Also, record witness statements. You can do that by writing down witnesses’ versions of how events unfolded, including what they saw and heard. If you are in no position to do that, a police officer can help you do it.

Witness statements are indispensable in determining the causes of a particular crash, contributing factors, the extent of injuries, and, most importantly, the at-fault party.

Traffic Citations

Traffic citations often determine liability in an auto accident. Insurance companies and their representatives know that. That is why most use them to determine whether claims are valid.

Here is an example that may help you understand this concept better. Suppose one of the parties in an accident recently received a speeding ticket or was cited for driving under the influence. In that case, lawyers and insurance reps may use either to prove the individual is known to act negligently and is, therefore, more likely at fault.

Crash Data

Electronic crash data is recorded by a device known as an Event Data Recorder (EDR). Most manufacturers install EDRs in automobiles for one primary purpose: to record technical occupant and vehicle information.

An EDR records data seconds before, during, and after a car accident. Experts from insurance companies often use the information captured by this device to nail down the party responsible for the accident and argue for or against compensation.

What Does a Victim Need to Prove Fault in a Car Accident?

Besides the evidence mentioned above, victims and their representatives need numerous elements to establish fault in an auto accident. These include:

  • Breach of duty of care: Drivers must do all they can to avoid injuring others, including focusing and observing traffic rules. Failure to do that may lead to a breach of the duty of care and place them at fault.
  • Injuries and losses: You can only use an element like a breach of the duty of care to point out the other party’s liability if you have proof of actual injuries and subsequent losses.
  • Causation: Finally, to place the other entity at fault, you must prove their breach of the duty of care was the direct cause of the injuries and losses you sustained.

Need Assistance? Partner with Formidable Attorneys

As you can see, establishing fault in a car accident isn’t as easy as it sounds. For starters, you need to understand everything the process entails, including the evidence and elements that can help your case and those like to bring your downfall.

To avoid making detrimental errors and increase the chances of winning compensation, seek help from experienced personal injury lawyers. They will be better positioned to examine events, gather invaluable evidence, and prove liability in court.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Should I contact the at-fault party and their insurance representatives after a collision?

Only if it’s necessary. Otherwise, keep your interaction with the at-fault party and their insurance company minimal, and let your car accident attorney and policy provider handle the rest.

Should I accept a cash settlement from the at-fault party?

Some at-fault parties offer cash settlements at the scene. If you meet such an entity, refusing their offer is highly advisable because it may undermine your ability to file a claim. Additionally, their settlement may not cover everything, including medical expenses and loss of wages.

Harold N. Hatcher