In a car accident, rarely is there not a liable party. Sometimes, it is easy to determine the culpable party, other times it isn’t. It is important to determine fault in a car accident lawsuit because this is the only way the victim will win compensation.
Determining fault occurs by addressing many elements, including the accident scene, the police report, the insurance agents, and a court of law.
Below are factors that help to determine fault in car accidents.
How to Determine Fault in Car Accidents
1 – Negligence
Most car accidents are a result of driver negligence. A driver is said to be negligent if they did not exercise caution as expected on the road. Settling for negligence is easy when the driver was not paying attention to the road because they were on the phone, drunk, attending to passengers in the back seat, or looking at maps.
2 – Dangerous Driving
Dangerous driving involves a total disregard of safety and endangering the lives of other road users. Reckless driving involves speeding, tailgating, disregarding traffic rules, switching lanes erratically, and racing.
If a reckless driver hits your car, you could be entitled to maximum compensation.
3 – Unsafe Road Conditions
Sometimes drivers are not always responsible for road accidents but dangerous road conditions. Roads can deteriorate to dangerous levels like potholes, cracks on the road, confusing road signs, uneven road surfaces, and poor instructions during road construction.
If a car hits a pothole, bursts its tire, and collides with an oncoming car, the driver at fault is not solely liable for the accident but also the government agency or company in charge of the road.
4 – No Doubt Accidents
If a car hits you from behind, the rear vehicle is always liable. This is because it is assumed the driver was following you too close or braked late.
Also, cars turning left are to blame for accidents resulting from a left turn. Traffic rules are clear on giving way to oncoming traffic.
5 – Police Report
The police officer’s account is key in determining the person at fault in an accident. When police officers arrive at the scene, they interview eyewitnesses, drivers involved, and look at the scene while still fresh.
By listening to both sides of the story and investigating the scene, they can identify the cause of the accident without bias. For this reason, insurance agents or the court rely on the police reports more to determine fault.
While the police have the right training and experience in road accidents, sometimes they are not right, and their reports cannot be trusted. There is a need for more evidence in such cases. You can obtain it from security cameras around the accident scene.
What’s more, it is important to collect evidence on your own from the accident scene by taking pictures and talking to witnesses if you are able.
Hire a Car Accident Attorney
As stated above, victims get compensation after car accident claims if negligence and liability occur and are determined. While the five factors above will help prove the other driver was at fault, you need the help of a car accident attorney to win maximum compensation.
Car accident lawyers have experience dealing with similar claims and will help you get the compensation you deserve.