Being in a car accident is difficult and stressful, especially if you suffer severe injuries, emotional distress, and financial struggles. The situation can be overwhelming when you must determine the party at fault.
It is crucial to determine who’s at fault in a car accident. Primarily, it can impact the compensation you get from the other party.
In most car accidents, determining liability is not an easy feat. Besides, the motor vehicle statutes state by state may make the process even more complicated by considering issues like partial fault.
This results in complex cases where both parties may be liable for causing the wreck – shared liability. In addition, the injured party may be liable.
Since determining liability in a car accident can be pretty complex, getting an experienced attorney to help you get fair insurance compensation and cover all other physical, emotional, and financial losses incurred is essential.
Determining Liability in a Car Accident
Liability is the party at fault in an accident and is legally responsible for any damages resulting from the accident. Determining liability in a car accident can be complicated, and contacting an attorney for legal assistance is crucial.
Determining liability can be a collective task where your attorney and the insurance companies may work together in determining fault. To establish liability, your personal injury attorney relies on the available evidence. The most important documents here include the following:
Official Police Report
Police officers respond to accidents, especially those that involve vehicles. Your attorney can obtain a copy of the police report for the subject incident. In most cases, the police report contains a detailed narrative description of the accident, including how it occurred.
A personal attorney can reach out to people who witnessed the accident happen. Eyewitnesses are vital because they can testify in court about the direction and relative speeds of the vehicles as well as other details observed.
Photographic and Video Recordings
In addition to police reports and witness statements, a personal attorney can obtain a copy of the CCTV footage showing events before, during, and after the accident. Any photographs depicting events during the car crash are also important.
On top of obtaining the above documents, your attorney can visit the car crash scene to clearly understand how the accident happened. For complicated accidents, the attorney can collaborate with an accident reconstruction expert who can testify during the trial.
Gathering all the documents linked to the crash is essential. A professional attorney can help you gather evidence, conduct depositions and help with legal proceedings.
Common vs Statutory Laws
The common law dictates most legal rules determining the at-fault party in a car crash. According to common law, the party who causes a car accident has committed a tort. Common law differs from state to state and divides fault into four levels; negligence, recklessness, intentional misconduct, and strict liability.
Statutory violations are the presumption of negligence. The concept of presumed negligence defines fault as violating any rules enacted by the state government. Motor vehicle statutes are vital for determining liability in a car accident.
Remember that some states have a statute of limitations on motor vehicle accidents. In particular, accidents in Alberta, Canada, require car accident victims to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party within two years. After this period, the victim can no longer seek compensation from the other party.
Proving Negligence in a Car Accident
To get compensation, you must provide all the legal elements proving that the other driver was at fault. As a victim, you must prove that the other party caused the car crash. You must also demonstrate that you suffered a direct injury from the accident. A victim that can successfully prove this is eligible for damage compensation.
Driving carelessly or recklessly is being negligent on the road. Negligence can take different forms, and you must be knowledgeable during the car accident claim.
Contacting a professional car accident attorney to help prove all the legal elements and eventually get compensation is essential.
If you are in an accident due to the other party’s negligence, the wisest step is to contact a professional attorney. The attorney will help you determine liability in the auto accident, ensure your rights are protected, and stay by your side throughout, from filing the initial personal injury claim and insurance negotiations to representing you in court.
Car accidents are uncontrollable, and although you might not want them, you can fall victim to them. In this case, you should seek legal assistance from a car accident attorney.