How to Determine Who is at Fault in a Car Accident

When you are in a car accident, one of the most important factors involved is determining who was to blame for it. This generally means figuring out who was liable for the accident due to negligence or carelessness. The driver who was responsible for the collision will be expected to compensate others for certain expenses, such as the cost of repairs or medical costs for injuries. Keep the following information in mind when you need to determine whose fault is the car accident.

Single and Multiple Parties

When a car accident only involves two vehicles, it’s usually easy to prove that one party was at fault, such as if one driver ran a red light or rear ended the other car. In order to prove that the other driver is to blame, you’ll need to provide clear evidence, which can include a police report or testimonies from eyewitnesses. Photos taken at the scene of the accident might also show evidence that the other driver was at fault.

When car accidents involve more than two vehicles, proving fault can become more complicated. Instead of a single party being at fault, there might be multiple parties whose actions led to the collision. Each party who is responsible might not share the same level of fault. In this case, you would need to determine the level of fault for each party involved.

Police Reports

When police are notified of a car accident, they must gather information in order to prepare a police report. Police officers do this by talking to all parties involved, so that they can provide accurate information about the accident. However, police reports do not necessarily have a statement about who was at fault. Keep in mind that a report that does include this kind of statement does not mean that the party listed as being at fault will automatically be considered liable if you file a lawsuit. You will still need to provide evidence in court that the other party was at fault.

Insurance Claims 

Insurance companies assign adjustors to determine who was at fault in a car accident. This helps insurance companies figure out which driver was responsible or how much each driver was at fault if the adjustors determine that both parties were negligent to some degree. Insurance adjustors typically rely on the state’s legal definition of negligence in order to figure out who is liable. For example, a driver failing to yield the right of way to another driver will be held liable for a collision that occurs as a result.

Court Cases

When you file a lawsuit against another driver after being involved in a car accident, the court will decide if the defendant’s actions were negligent. This involves hearing your account of the accident and the defendant’s account, as well as evaluating evidence that you present and hearing from eyewitnesses and any police officers that were at the scene.

If you have been involved in a car accident, Oaktree Law attorneys can provide you with legal help every step of the way. Contact us to schedule a consultation with a car accident lawyer.