It is important to show who was responsible or liable in almost all motor vehicle, bike and motorcycle accidents. This means that you need to prove who was negligent or made the mistake. Although it may seem obvious to others, proving fault in a crash can be difficult for insurance companies. If you have evidence to support your claim, your insurer will be more persuasive.
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These facts will help you prove fault and strengthen your case
- Police Reports and Car Accidents
Although police may not always arrive at the scene of an accident immediately, they will likely make some type of report. Police are more likely to attend accidents that result in injuries but will often also stop at non-injury incidents. If the police do arrive at your accident, make sure you ask them how they can get a copy.
Sometimes, police officers are not available to attend an accident. Parties may have to report an accident to the nearest police station if there are not enough police officers available. Investigators can pick up the police report and conduct their own investigations after you have filed it. These reports can be obtained in duplicate.
The police report is the written record of the officer who investigated the accident. These reports can often provide a lot of evidence regarding liability. For example, the officer’s opinion that one vehicle was speeding based upon his observations of the length and location of the skid marks. Officers often indicate whether traffic tickets were issued at the accident scene.
Your insurance company may consider the police report to be one of your most valuable pieces of evidence. Insurance companies might not obtain a copy of the police reports before issuing car accident liability report.
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- Modifying a Police Report
A mistake in a police investigation report can be corrected. You can usually amend a police report if the error is a factual one, such as incorrect vehicle information or insurance information.
It is, however, much more difficult to amend a dispute fact, such as fault determination.
Different procedures may apply to police departments for objecting or denying a report. To learn more about the procedure, you should contact the police department that was involved in your accident. You can simply add your statement as an addition to the accident report in many cases. Although it is difficult to overturn a fault determination it is possible. To determine the strength and viability of your case, you should consult an accident attorney.
- State Traffic Laws: Proving Fault in Car Crash
Another great place to support your claim that the other driver is at fault are state traffic laws. These laws are often called the “Vehicle Code”. These laws can be condensed into easy-to-read “Rules of the Road”, which may be found at your local DMV. Many vehicle codes can be found online at many state government websites, public libraries and in FindLaw Codes.
Once you have identified the law applicable to your accident, it will be easier to negotiate with the insurance company. A code that relates to yielding the right-of-way may be helpful in a merging accident, for example. It is important to know the exact meaning of the code. This will help you avoid citing a wrong law to an insurance company.
- No Fault Car Accident Liability
Most accidents are caused by one driver. These situations are rare in which insurance companies will argue over who is at fault and will try to settle quickly.
- Fault in Rear End Unintentional Accidents
Rear-end collisions are the most common type of accident. Even if the car in front of you was stopped, a car hitting you from behind will almost always be your fault. You must leave enough space in front to allow your car to stop if the car in front stops suddenly. This is a basic rule of driving. If the driver in front of you can’t stop, they probably weren’t driving safely.
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There is no way to dispute who hit whom when one car’s rear ends are damaged while the front end of another car is. The driver who hit you might have a claim against the third-party driver that caused you or your car to stop suddenly. However, this doesn’t reduce the driver’s liability for any damage to your vehicle.
While it is likely that another driver was at fault for the accident, your negligence could make you partially responsible. You may also be liable for comparative negligence, which can reduce your monetary damages.
- Left-Turn Collisions
Left turn accidents almost always occur because the driver who made the left turn is at fault. In most cases, cars that drive straight into intersections will have the right-of-way. This makes the driver who turns left responsible for the accident.
The car driving straight through an intersection may be speeding or running a red light. This could shift some of the liability to the car turning left. It is rare that a car turning left when it was safe does so but was stopped by an unforeseen circumstance.
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Do you have questions about proving fault in a car crash?
Minor fender-benders can usually be resolved by simply exchanging information about your insurance. However, minor accidents can often result in serious injuries. To learn more about your legal rights after being injured in a car crash, speak to a local attorney. Many attorneys won’t collect fees until you settle your case if you have a valid claim.