Car accidents are inevitable. They can be caused by reckless driving, unexpected calamities, or other forces on the road. When this happens, everyone involved usually scrambles to figure out whose fault it is. When you’re the victim, your focus then turns toward establishing the fact that the other party is to blame for the accident. But here’s the thing: it can be tricky to determine who’s responsible for an accident. At times, there may even be a disconnect between who actually caused the accident and who is legally at fault.
Establishing who’s at fault is important, as they will pay for the damages brought about by the accident. In most cases, the insurance company of whoever is at fault will cover all the costs. Lawsuits are less likely to occur where the person responsible for the accident will shoulder all the expenses. But how can you determine who’s at fault in a car accident? We’ll discuss this further in the next section.
Responsible for the Accident
Determining who is responsible for a car accident is basically a matter of identifying who was careless or negligent on the road. In most cases, it’s easy to see which party acted carelessly and caused the accident. They will then be held responsible for any injuries or property damages that might have arisen as a result of the accident.
In some cases, it may be rather hard to establish who’s at fault. This is where a proper investigation should be conducted. Both parties should collect pieces of evidence. These may include statements from witnesses, police reports, personal testimonies, medical records, and other information essential to the investigation.
Furthermore, any driver violating traffic law will be held responsible for a resulting car accident. This includes speeding, running a red light, and cutting across several lanes of traffic to turn, among many other violations. He or she may carry the heaviest burden of the resulting liability.
Evidence to Establish Who’s at Fault
If it’s obvious who’s at fault, then you should collect evidence while you’re on the scene. Whatever you collect will support your claim or defense regarding fault in an accident. Chances are that the other party is also preparing to win the case. That said, here are important details or things that you need to prepare, which will serve as evidence:
● Medical treatment records, medical bills, and doctor’s notes.
● Police reports which serve as documentation of the actual accident scene.
● Statements, verbal or written, coming from witnesses who were in the scene.
● Your personal statements and that of the other driver.
All these carry a great deal of weight with insurance adjusters and claims attorneys. They serve as strong evidence that will support your claim and uphold your right to be compensated.
Decision and Final Verdict
Given the evidence presented, the final decision and verdict will be made. The latter will be based on citations by police, the statements by the drivers themselves and any witnesses, and the sound reasoning of a judge or jury. Nevertheless, if you can build a solid case, it is often possible to settle out of court. This can be a viable option before a final determination on the merits by a court will be made.
Final words: Need for an attorney
There are cases when the need for an attorney specializing in personal injury law is essential. Getting one would be a good idea when you aren’t sure of who’s at fault, when some are deliberately delaying payment of your claim, or when you can’t defend yourself and need legal representation. These attorneys usually offer a free initial consultation, and their services are typically paid on a contingency basis. Should you receive a favorable settlement or judgment, you can share a percentage of any recovery with the attorney and need not pay out of pocket.