Fault is a huge part of every personal injury case, from small fender benders to catastrophic, multi-car pile ups. In some situations, determining who is at fault is relatively straight forward. In other cases, however, who is at fault is much murkier. If you have been hurt in a car accident, proving fault will be vital for you to collect damages that will cover your medical expenses, time away from work, property damage expenses, and more. So, how do you prove fault?
Straight-Forward Car Accident Fault Cases
There are a few types of car accidents where fault is really a non-issue. This is because they are almost always one driver’s fault over the other. Below are a few examples.
- Rear-end collisions. In most situations, a rear-end collision is going to be the fault of the person who rear-ended the other person. Usually, the reason these accidents happen is because the second driver was not paying attention to the flow of traffic. It is virtually never your fault if someone hits you from behind.
- Left-Turn accidents. If you are in a situation where a car was making a left hand turn when they ran into you while you were going straight, the turning vehicle is almost always at fault. This is because you have the right-of-way in that situation. Of course, there are some exceptions to this general rule.
- Traffic violations. If the other car that hit you was violating a traffic sign or signal, then they are usually at fault in that situation. We expect other drivers to follow the rules of the road, and they are generally punished with liability if they do not.
Tools To Determine Fault
Proving fault in other situations is not nearly as clear-cut, but there are a few resources that you can use to help determine who might be at fault in your car accident.
- Police report. A police report can be an extremely valuable tool for proving fault in your car accident case. The police report not only provides essential information about the other driver, it also provides an impartial third-party’s description of the accident. Most police reports will also give an opinion regarding who is at fault. Police officers deal with car accidents much more often than the average person, so their determination of fault goes a long way in court.
- If one driver was issued a citation for a law violation, then that can help you prove fault as well. Generally, a driver will not be issued a citation if they were not at least partially at fault for the accident, so that information can be very helpful.
- Witness statements or testimony. Those who saw the accident can give a great narrative of what actually happened. Who they perceived was at fault will also be helpful because, again, they are an impartial third-party.
There are many other tools or resources that you can gather to prove fault in your car accident case. An experienced car accident attorney can help you look in all the right places. If you have been hurt in a car accident, you deserve to have access to every resource that will help you get the compensation that you need.