How Attorneys Prove Fault in Car Accident Cases
Globally, just over 1 million people are killed annually in car accidents. Whether injuries are fatal or not, it can be difficult to determine who is at fault in a motor vehicle accident. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car or truck crash, it’s best to consult a local personal injury lawyer who will help you make sense of the law.
As in most personal injury cases, determining which party is at fault in a car accident frequently comes down to recognizing carelessness, or in legal terms, negligence. Sometimes, it’s obvious who is at fault, but you might not be aware of which rules or laws that party broke. With the help of your local car accident injury attorney, you’ll need to provide evidence to your insurance company of the other person’s negligence. Here are several types of evidence you can use, and the information you’ll need to make an insurance claim.
When a car accident occurs, the police or other law enforcement personnel may arrive on the scene, especially if they are made aware that there is an injured party or parties. A law enforcement official will in most cases write up a report of the accident. Your or your local personal injury lawyer can contact the traffic division of the police or other law enforcement agency to obtain a copy of the written report.
In a police report, an officer may clearly state their view that one party broke a particular traffic law, causing the crash. The report may also say that a citation was issued by the officer. In other cases, the officer may simply note that a driver was negligent, without assigning blame for the accident. If the report contains any reference to negligent driving or breaking a traffic law, it can be an important piece of evidence in proving that the other party was at fault.
State Traffic Laws
Your local personal injury lawyer can also help you make sense of state traffic laws that are relevant to your case. Every state has statutes that include traffic law, typically referred to as the “Vehicle Code.” You may be able to access a simpler version of your state’s traffic laws from the motor vehicle department, which will usually make it available online. You can often find the full vehicle code online or at your local public library, but it may be challenging to interpret. Your local personal injury attorney will have access to the complete vehicle code via their law library and will know how to interpret it.
If You’re in a Rear-End Collision
Your local personal injury lawyer will tell you that if your automobile is struck in the rear by another car, it is almost never your fault. The reasons why you stopped don’t matter because the law states that a driver should be prepared to stop if the vehicle in front of them stops. If they are not able to stop without hitting the next car ahead, they are not operating their vehicle safely.
Your car’s damage frequently demonstrates how the accident occurred. When one vehicle’s rear end has been hit and the front of the vehicle behind is damaged, it’s clear who’s at fault. The person who hit the rear of your car may be able to file a claim against a third party, such as someone whose actions resulted in your abrupt stop, but the driver is still liable for your injuries and your vehicle’s damage.
If You’re in a Left-Turn Accident
When a vehicle is turning left and collides with a vehicle approaching straight from the opposite direction, the driver turning left is nearly always considered to be at fault. There are some unusual and hard-to-prove exceptions, which your personal injury attorney can review with you:
- The vehicle traveling straight significantly exceeded the speed limit.
- The vehicle traveling straight ran a red light.
- The vehicle turning left started to turn under safe conditions, but something caused it to slow or stop.
Fault may be easy or difficult to prove in car accident cases. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, consult a local personal injury lawyer to help you navigate relevant traffic law. Call our team today for a free consultation.