Mar 05, 2023 | CHASENBOSCOLO

How Fault Is Determined In A Car Accident

The person responsible for your injuries in a car crash should be liable for your medical bills, emotional distress, and other losses. However, how fault is determined can be challenging. It requires gathering substantial evidence to demonstrate who caused the accident.

How Law Enforcement Establishes Fault

A police officer will investigate the accident scene if someone calls law enforcement to report what happened. They will review the evidence, speak to each person involved in the crash, and obtain witness statements. Officers will try to piece together the events’ sequence from the information gathered to determine who is at fault.

They should write a police report with their observations and determinations. A brief explanation of the crash’s occurrence might establish how fault is determined. However, the report isn’t adequate evidence. It only contains the investigating officer’s opinions. Just because they think someone else caused the collision doesn’t mean the insurer will agree and pay your claim.

How the Insurance Company Determines Fault

When you get hurt in an accident, filing a claim should be among the first steps to seek compensation for your injuries and losses. Once you do, the insurance carrier will assign an adjuster to review the claim and determine who is at fault.

The adjuster will investigate, gather evidence, and talk to multiple parties to recreate the crash and pinpoint what contributed to it. During the investigation, they will also review your medical records to determine the extent of your injuries and base a settlement offer on the value of your claim.

Insurance adjusters decide fault after a car wreck. They might assign fault to more than one person. For example, another driver might be liable for driving under the influence, but you might also be responsible for running a red light.

How Fault Is Determined In A Car Accident 2How Fault is Determined After an Accident in Court

You might file a lawsuit if you cannot settle with the insurance company for compensation. The court will then be responsible for determining who is at fault. A judge or jury will consider each side’s arguments and the presented evidence, such as witness testimony, medical records, and accident scene photos.

Whoever has the authority to decide on the case will use the evidence to determine whether the other driver’s negligence caused the collision and how much of a financial award you should receive.

Crucial Evidence in a Car Accident Case

Evidence is necessary in any car accident case, whether dealing with an injury claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party. You might need the following types of evidence:

  • Photos – Visual evidence is challenging to dispute. You can take pictures of anything related to the crash to strengthen your case. If possible, snap photos of the accident scene, including skid marks, road conditions, vehicle damage, and the position of traffic lights or road signs. You can also take pictures of your visible injuries to demonstrate the severity.
  • Eyewitness statements – Eyewitnesses are crucial to proving fault after a car accident. Anyone who saw what happened can give a statement to the insurance company or testify at trial. They can recall the events leading up to the collision and describe the actions of each party involved.
  • Medical records – Your medical records show the type of injury you sustained and the treatment you need to heal. Your doctor can provide a written statement explaining how the accident caused your injury and the symptoms you experienced. They can also describe your recovery and whether you’ll require ongoing treatment for a permanent or disabling injury.
  • Repair estimates – Vehicle damage can establish the point of impact during the collision. For example, if someone struck your car from behind, the bumper should have damage. A repair estimate also shows how much it might cost to fix the damage.
  • Video footage – Security cameras are everywhere. You can secure traffic camera footage to show every second of the crash, including each driver’s actions. Security footage can also prove what someone did before driving, such as drinking at a bar, that could have contributed to the accident.
  • Lost wage reports – A severe injury can significantly limit physical and mental abilities. You might need time away from work to recover. Lost wage reports can establish your time off and the income you couldn’t earn.

Get Help Holding the Negligent Party Liable

Handling a car accident case is stressful. It can be overwhelming dealing with the extensive paperwork, communicating with the insurance adjuster, and obtaining evidence to prove fault. You should not proceed without an experienced lawyer from CHASENBOSCOLO.

Our team will relieve you of your burden and handle every step for you. You will receive the personalized attention and aggressive representation you deserve. Call us at (301) 220-0050 today for a free consultation if you sustained injuries in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence.

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