Nearly every day, car accidents involve various factors, ranging from negligence to mishaps. While you might think it’s straightforward to ascertain who the responsible party is, there are often mitigating circumstances that make the process far more challenging than expected.
However, as is the case with everything in life, a little knowledge goes a long way. Knowing everything you need to know about car accident negligence will hopefully allow you to understand the ins and outs better if you are ever unfortunate enough to find yourself involved in one.
Consult An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
In reality, the only people with enough expertise to ascertain who is at fault will be a lawyer…or, more specifically, a personal injury attorney specializing in auto accidents. An experienced car accident lawyer will be able to analyze your case from all angles and help identify any potential defendants. They’ll look into both party’s Insurance policies, physical evidence from Left Behind at the scene, and witness testimonies that can help prove fault. In addition, a car accident lawyer will have expertise in local laws regarding negligence and tort, so they’ll know which statutes work in your favor and which don’t. Not only will they use their experience to build up your case, but they’ll also represent you in court if necessary. Having access to an attorney with experience increases your chances of success tenfold. So if you’re trying to determine who’s really at fault in a car accident situation, make sure you consult with the best one within your budget.
Understand The State’s Negligence Laws
Understanding the law within your specific jurisdiction can tell you almost everything you need to know. In order to prove another driver was negligent, you must show they breached the duty of care they owed to you based on the circumstances surrounding the accident. If you can demonstrate that the other driver had a duty to exercise reasonable care while driving and that they failed, you may be successful in showing the other driver was negligent. In some states, negligence per se laws apply where violating a traffic law is seen as automatic evidence of negligence if someone gets injured due to that breach. For example, running a red light and hitting another car can be considered Reckless Behavior which entitles the party who has been hit with compensation for any losses incurred from their injuries.
Gather Evidence To Support Your Case
No matter which party is found to be at fault in a car accident, it’s incredibly important to gather evidence that supports your case. Don’t just guess who’s at fault; get the facts! Evidence gathering may include:
- Taking photos and videos of the accident (more on that in the next point)
- Inspecting any damages
- Speaking with witnesses (also more on that later)
Have medical bills related to your injury; you should document that as well (taking particular care to show your expenses). Collecting this data will show why you believe one person is more responsible for the accident than the other. You could even take witness statements from people who were there doing the incident and store them did you decide to pursue legal action down the line
Document The Scene Of The Accident For Those Experienced In The Law To Examine
When it comes to determining car accident negligence and who is at fault, having an apposite document describing the scene of the accident is vital. Whether you’re required to establish this by a police report, photos, or an eyewitness account, complete documentation of what happened can provide invaluable evidence in identifying the responsible party. For those who are experienced in the law ad dealing with these kinds of cases, such evidence can be crucial for establishing liability. The more information provided about how the incident occurred, who was involved, and where it took place, the better opportunity for those in legal proceedings to identify exactly what happened on that day. Everything from weather conditions to how laws were obeyed should all be detailed precisely so that no questions remain unanswered. One of the most telling items of evidence is arguably photographic or video in nature. Getting a complete overview of the scene (when safe to do so) will enable investigators to have eyes on the scene without having to remember or even be physically there.
Ensure You Get A Police Record Of The Event
Continuing from the previous point, obtaining a police report from the scene can sometimes mean the difference between being the one who is at fault or not. Getting an official account can help immensely with subsequent negotiations or the eventual filing of a lawsuit. A police report will accurately document the details surrounding the car accident. It will include information such as:
- What happened
- Who was involved
- Who they deemed to be at fault for the occurrence (although this might not always be the case)
Additionally, witnesses and any other pertinent parties at the scene will be interviewed, and their statements will also be included in this document. The evidence collected by law enforcement officers also works to verify your account of events by providing an unbiased erosion of events. This record may even be introduced as evidence if your case moves on to court proceedings for an even further level of review or dispute resolution.
Be As Open An Forthright As You Can Without Admitting Responsibility (Until You’ve Consulted With Your Lawyer)
Accidents can happen incredibly quickly and unexpectedly, leaving parties confused by the sudden event. Consequently, it’s vital to remember that if you are ever involved in a car accident, you should not admit responsibility until you consult a lawyer. Even if you believe you are at fault, you really need to resist the urge and instead try to ensure everyone is ok and try asses the situation using the points previously mentioned. Moreover, you should also be honest and open about what happened leading up to the crash without relinquishing responsibility. To put it another way, you can tell your story of how you arrived at the scene before the collision occurred. Additionally, exchange insurance information with those involved to have documentation regarding this point and prove that you want to get these things sorted via the proper channels.
When you’re involved in a car accident, there are many things that tend to swirl around your head (if you’re still conscious). However, by following these tips, you should be able to reduce the stress you feel and hopefully understand who was at fault and who needs to make amends.
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