Determining fault in a car accident is not easy. Sometimes it is unclear who is at fault and a thorough investigation will need to be conducted before evidence is lost. The insurance laws in your state play a role in determining who is determined at fault in a car accident. There are 12 no-fault states and the rest are at-fault states. In California, for example, which is an at-fault state, compensation is reduced by the percentage of fault each driver shares for causing the accident.
That’s because California is a comparative negligence state, explains Santa Barbara-based personal injury firm Maho | Prentice, LLP. A drunk driver shares more responsibility for an accident than a sober driver. What complicates a case is if both drivers were doing something they shouldn’t have at the time of the accident, like texting or speeding.
In order to prove that you are not at fault in a car accident, you will need to collect strong evidence to prove that another party is at fault.
Evidence in a Car Accident Case
A car accident attorney can protect your rights and fight for you to get the fair and justice settlement that you are entitled to. These are the most common types of evidence used to determine fault in a car accident case.
The Police Report
The responding police officer at the site of your auto accident generated a police report. Within it is their analysis of the scene and their opinion of who is at fault. They may also draw a diagram or include details about the location and extent of damage in the report.
Witnesses to the accident, whether they saw, heard, or were in the car at the time, are vital to telling the story of what happened. They can provide information that cannot be gleaned from looking at photos or reading the police report.
If The Other Driver Admits Guilt
Sometimes people are hit by other drivers who admit fault, or say things that make them guilty, like saying that they just left the bar, or they did not see your car. Never say anything on the side of the road that could be misconstrued as admitting guilt or taking responsibility for the accident.
Medical records prove the extent of your injuries, including necessary surgeries, physical rehabilitation and the medications you’ve been prescribed. They may also include your doctor’s professional opinion on your future health based on the extent of your injuries. Providing your medical records helps your attorney to calculate the damages you have suffered.
Expert Witness Testimony
Usually a medical expert or accident reconstructionist, another type of expert witness, is brought in to analyze your medical records and interpret them to help explain the nature of an injury to the judge and jury.
Submitting photos and videos that you took at the scene of the accident will help establish liability. Additionally, if there were any traffic cameras nearby, then your attorney can take steps to get a copy of the footage. You should speak to a car accident attorney right away before evidence is lost. Most traffic cameras have limited data storage capacity, so they are deleted every few days. Call an attorney today about your case.