There are over six million car accidents in the United States every year. Some of these car accidents are small fender benders resulting in little to no damage or injuries. Some, unfortunately, are fatal.
Regardless of what type of accident you’re in, determining fault in a car accident can significantly affect your life going forward. If the other driver is at fault, for example, it will most likely be his or her insurance that pays the costs of the damages to your car. If you experienced injuries, their insurance should pay for your medical bills as well.
Although the insurance company’s analysis and the police report will have the ultimate authority to assign blame, there are other ways to determine fault. Keep reading for a quick guide.
If either driver was distracted on the road, this could help in determining fault in a car accident. For example, if one of the drivers involved in the accident was texting or otherwise distracted by their phone, they would be at fault.
However, this allegation must be proven. Other distractions include pets, passengers, eating, the radio, multi-tasking, and more.
Sometimes, even an undistracted driver can cause an accident by driving recklessly. This includes speeding, driving aggressively, slamming on the breaks, skidding around corners, driving under the influence, and more. Many accidents are caused by drivers aggressively weaving in and out of the passing lane to get ahead of other vehicles.
Determining fault in a car accident can also come down to identifying if either driver was breaking any laws. For example, blowing through a stop sign, running a red light, or failing to yield. In these scenarios, the driver who broke the law is most likely going to be blamed for causing the accident.
Other law violations that could point to who is at fault include driving in the dark without headlights, driving in the wrong direction, speeding, texting while driving, and more.
Video and Photo Evidence
Identifying car accident fault and proving it are two different things. Fortunately, police and insurance investigators can use video evidence from street cameras or nearby businesses to help prove who is at fault.
However, you should also do your part to take pictures of the scene of the accident as soon as possible. Take pictures of the inside and outside of both vehicles. Additionally, photograph damaged property, skid marks on the ground, and anything else that may help determine fault.
Determining Fault in a Car Accident Through Eye Witnesses
If there are no videos available and the photographic evidence is inconclusive, determining fault in a car accident may rely on witness statements. Investigators will talk to the parties in each vehicle. However, the people involved will be biased and have a limited perception.
After a car accident, get the contact information of any eyewitnesses who may be able to provide valuable information. If the fault was with the other driver, eyewitness testimony could lead to you winning a settlement for damages. Click here to found out how long it takes for a car accident settlement to go through.
Looking for More Information and Advice?
If you’ve been involved in an accident, we know how traumatic an experience like that can be, especially when determining fault in a car accident. Do what you can to help the insurance companies and the police do their jobs.
And if you’re looking for more valuable advice and information, check out some of the other articles on our website. Our blog was created to provide as much practical information as possible for people just like you.