How Do I Prove Fault in a Car Accident Case?

Were you injured in an accident where the other driver was at fault? In order to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve, you may need a little help proving fault. The first question that people ask after an accident is typically, "Who was responsible for the incident?" Determining liability is a crucial part in car accident cases- in all 50 states the injured party is responsible to prove fault before the insurance companies will dish out any compensation. Proving fault can be easy in most car accident cases, but in others where the fault is not blatantly clear, it can be extremely difficult. That is why it is definitely in your best interests to obtain an experienced Livingston County personal injury attorney who can help you prove fault and recover the full settlement that you are entitled to.

Some helpful tactics and tools to help you prove fault in car accident cases include:

  1. Looking at the Police Reports- If someone was injured at the scene of the accident the police will probably be notified and will come on the scene to write up a report of the incident. Within the report the official will include who they believe to be at fault for the accident and how they believe the accident occurred. They may even include a note stating that what specific traffic violation was made or that the other driver was simply being reckless. Be sure to ask for a copy of the police report because in many cases it could be the determining factor and act as valid proof for your claim.
  2. Check for State Traffic Law Violations- The traffic code is another valuable resource when looking for evidence to support your argument. By looking through the state laws you can search for the exact code violation and other statutes which apply to your car accident. For example, if the other driver was speeding, running a red light, driving drunk, texting, or ignoring road signs, then you can find that specific rule and write it down along with the statute number so you can reference it in the case. By proving that the other driver clearly violated the state vehicle code, your attorney will have a leg up in negotiations with the insurance company.
  3. Location of Damage – By looking to see where the two cars were damages you can typically tell who caused the incident. This is where "no-doubt liability" comes into play. In a rear-end accident, the driver with front end damage who hit the person in front of them is typically assumed to be at fault for the accident. The insurance company will rarely think twice to search for evidence that supports otherwise. Regardless of why the accident happened, the law states that rear-drivers should leave ample space between them and the car in front so that they have plenty of time to come to a complete stop. Keep in mind however, that if you were partially at fault for the accident, then your percentage of negligence may be deducted from the settlement amount- this is known as "comparative negligence." With left-turn accidents the same concept applies, the car that was making the left turn at the time of the accident is automatically considered to be at fault. There are very few instances where the driver going straight is seemingly liable but in cases where they were speeding or ran a red light, then you may be able to shift the liability onto them.
  4. Utilize Witness Testimonies & Take Pictures- By questioning witnesses at the scene of the accident you may be able to refer to their eye-witness testimonies as long as they are not biased. It is also wise to take pictures immediately following the accident in order to record the evidence before any of it is destroyed or removed. Take pictures of any injures, the damage to the vehicles and of any skid marks or damage to street property.

We understand that car accident can be traumatic and once the dust settles and you are left with the injuries and the damage your first thought is usually, "who is going to pay for this?" If you have been injured in a car accident where the other driver was negligent and at fault, then we can help you hold them responsible for their actions. It is not your responsibility to pay for the damages. Contact a Livingston County personal injury lawyer from our firm today to learn more about proving fault in a car accident.